Volunteers remove 500kg of rubbish in cross-border beach clean

  • Video report by Jennifer Cordingley

This weekend, hundreds of people pulled on their rubber gloves and wellies and took to the beach, to take part in the Big Cross-Border Coastal Cleanup.

Covering over 100 miles of coastline, volunteers picked up everything from lollipop sticks to fishing line in an effort to keep the seaside looking ship-shape. 

300 volunteers took on 100 miles of coastline, picking up around 500kgs of rubbish. 

The big clean-up was organised by charity group Sea the Change, as well as volunteer groups from the borders and Northumberland including divers and paddle-boarders. 

Alice Fisher from Sea the Change told ITV Border about what the volunteers had found: "A lot of fishing line and large items but it's more the micro-plastics especially on Coldingham beach, on the surface it looked immaculate but actually what we were finding was a lot of cigarette buts and micro-plastics that's what the shocking thing was.

"A lot of people locally are taking responsibility for the rubbish so that's why we're not finding so many plastic bottles people like dog walkers pick them up but it's the small bits of micro-plastics that are concerning us."  

Alex Higgs from the Berwickshire Marine Reserve said, "Marine litter is having a big impact on the species and organisms that we have in our oceans so if you visit the beach, it is good to pick up and don't leave any litter on the beach.

"Animals like dolphins and whales can become entangled in marine litter if it's bigger or if it's smaller it can become ingested. It's really important to get young people involved really get them involved in the issues that the ocean is currently facing so introducing them to those problems at an early stage and showing what they can do to help will really hopefully benefit long term." 

This may have been their biggest turn out yet but Sea the Change are hoping it will inspire more people to experience, enjoy and look after their local environment.