Why, I ask myself, do I find myself standing on a beach, on a cold, wet and windy Saturday morning in the middle of December. Litter picker in one hand, rubbish sack in the other. Surely a nice warm cup of tea, watching the TV from the comfort of my sofa, relaxing after a busy week would be the more preferable option?
There are probably a number of answers to this question but I can think of 32 very specific reasons:
Disposable camera, fishing floats, plastic tops, tin can, concrete foot, rope, straws, wipes, wood, cardboard, netting, flossers, aluminium containers, multipack plastic, fishing line, white wax foam, syringe, plastic toy, dummy, condom, tennis ball, trainer, large plastic pipe, rubber glove, disposable lighter, dog poo, part of a plastic tray, plastic pen, plastic bottles, toothbrush, bag handle, paint brush.
All of these 32 items (along with a whole heap more stuff), were collected by a hardy team of volunteers during a beach clean I attended in December with the Bexhill Environmental Group.
I’m not even sure what some of these items are, (white wax foam anyone?), or where they came from (anybody missing a concrete foot?). However, what is for sure is that these are items that we regularly find scatted on our beaches.
And with them, the worrying scenario of one day hearing the cry of joy from a group of kids, proudly standing over their freshly constructed sandcastle, complete with plastic windows, ramparts made from tin cans, lighters where the cannons will defend against the incoming tide and a condom, high atop the syringe made mast, fluttering in the breeze like a royal flag.
And this is just one small stretch of beach in Bexhill, scoured on one Saturday morning.
Isn’t it time we gave a bit more thought to our clean seas. Please.