Wednesday 22 May 2019

Sun worshippers leave beach in absolute mess

Elaine Parsons with her children Thomas and Susan Howe.
Elaine Parsons with her children Thomas and Susan Howe.
Rubbish dumped at overflowing skip at Brittas Bay.

Esther Hayden

Mounds of discarded rubbish were left behind on Brittas Bay on Sunday evening.

Local woman Elaine Parsons and her two children Thomas and Susan Howe went swimming late on Sunday evening after the majority of the crowd had left.

However the family were horrified by the amount of rubbish both on the beach and discarded by the skip.

'We went down for a dip', said Elaine 'and found the place in an absolute mess. The skip itself was really full and overflowing and there was bags of rubbish just dumped beside it.

'Obviously some people had tried to clean up after themselves as best they could but then the skip was full so they just left it.

'But some families just left everything on the beach after them. We saw one family get up and left towels, bags of food, bottles, everything behind them. I was going to say it to them but I had my children with me and you just don't know who you are approaching.

'It was a terrible sight to see the beach like that. People come here to enjoy the beach and it's fabulous, a great asset to the whole county but you can't expect people to enjoy it when there is such littering going on.

'I had two black bags and gloves with me so I gathered up as much as we could but there was still loads of rubbish on the beach. Luckily I had been on a beach clean on Brittas the previous week after teenagers had a drinking party in the dunes so I had come prepared.

'I only had a few bags with me on Sunday and only got to cover a short section around the lifeguard hut.

'A lot of this stems from education. There's such a big drive on at the minute to stop plastic waste ending up in the sea. We have a beautiful stretch of beach and we really need to protect it.'

Elaine said Wicklow County Council have a big role to play in helping to maintain the beach and said she feels they are not doing enough.

'There should be bins on the beach and during the summer months litter wardens. The whole thing needs to be policed more. The signs telling people about the litter fines are faded and nobody pays them any attention because there is nobody enforcing it. The council need to put a push on this.

'Beach clean ups are only fire-fighting and now with the good weather the beach is very busy.'

Elaine said that during Sunday's clean up she picked up everything from baby wipes and discarded food to buckets and spades.

She said while the council workers working on the beach were doing a great job they were only there until 4 p.m.

'People are leaving lots of stuff behind including toys, buckets and spades and towels. It's such a ridiculous waste of money on top of the littering. It's such a disposable way to live

'Everyone has a personal responsibility and the council also really need to step up.

Wicklow People