Beach-goers urged to take rubbish home this Easter to protect sea life

Credit: Viewer footage from 2020.

People visiting the south coast this Easter weekend are being reminded not to leave rubbish behind.

The warning follows the huge amount of litter left in resorts including Brighton, Margate and Bournemouth last summer.

Litter at Brighton beach in June 2020. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Sea Life Trust has launched its 'Don't Make Easter Rubbish' campaign to ensure plastic doesn't end up in the sea.

Joe Williams from Sea Life in Brighton says it is a shame to see rubbish ending up on the beaches.

He says: "Things like fish will eat the micro plastics which will eventually end up in our guts as humans.

"Animals like seals can mistake them for their regular food and they'll become ingested which can cause death in a large number of animals."

Later this summer, the trust plans to lead the charge on cleaning up beaches, canals and waterways around the UK, from Scarborough to Weymouth.

Supporters are encouraged to hold their own beach or river clean near their home.

Recent cleans have collected almost 2,000 kg of litter, which the trust says is the equivalent weight of two adult beluga whales.

Amount of time it can take for litter items to biodegrade (figures from Sea Life):

  • Cigarette butts - 10+ years 

  • Coffee cup - 50 years

  • Plastic bags - 20-50 years

  • Crisp packet - 80+ years

  • Straws - 200 years

  • Plastic bottles - average 450-1000 years

  • Single use face masks - 450+ years