'Beak-proof' bags coming to Bristol in bid to stop seagulls scavenging

Credit: Grundon

New seagull-proof bin bags are being introduced to Bristol, in a bid to stop seagulls scavenging through refuse bags.

The beak-proof bags, believed to be the first of their kind in the city, are large enough to fit 10 general waste bags inside.

It's hoped the bags will be used by pubs or restaurants to keep vermin away from the food inside them.

John Phelps, operations manager at Grundon Waste Management, said: “We know how much of a problem seagulls destroying bin bags can be – it’s unsightly, unhygienic and has knock-on effects on encouraging other vermin.

“We also know for businesses that are open late, for example, there’s a historic issue with bags getting abused and mistreated.

"Our drivers often have to clean up after these pests – they sometimes spend as much time sweeping up waste as they do collecting it."

The bags, which are being provided by Grundon's are made of hessian with a plastic lining.

“People don’t tend to see what we see,” he said. “We’re up early collecting these bags from businesses all over the city and it can be a real mess, with gulls and even rats to deal with.

“We work closely with enforcement officers at the city council to tackle sites which are proving a problem.

"So by the time, most people are up, the streets are clean – even our business customers don’t realise what we’ve been up to.

“There’s also a safety issue for our drivers, as rats carry Weil’s Disease in their urine which can be dangerous and even fatal. So it’s in everyone’s interest to minimise this issue.”