Volunteers are blitzing beaches this weekend to clear unsightly litter and harmful plastics.
Leaders of marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), are organising their Big Spring Beach Clean in North Shields on Saturday and Tynemouth on Sunday and are appealing for people to help.
Meanwhile, residents and local groups recently collected 15 bags of debris at the Haven beach, Tynemouth, including bottles, cans, toys, needles, fishing gear and hundreds of discarded ear buds, and shovelled five tons of sand back on the beach following recent storms
Organiser Rachael Kerr said: “A massive thank you to everyone, it was a tremendous effort. We were shocked at the amount of plastic washed up. It was horrifying and demonstrates the scale of the problem.”
Beach cleans are among key initiatives which helped Tynemouth become the first in the North East to gain Plastic Free Coastline status.
Many businesses have replaced plastics such as cups, cutlery, containers and packaging, which pollute the sea and harm marine life including birds, seals, fish and plants, with green alternatives.
Bars are asked to ditch plastic straws and among the first to respond are the Low Lights Tavern, North Shields, and Barca, in Front Street, Tynemouth.
The beach cleans start at 1.30pm on Saturday at the Fish Quay Sands, North Shields, meeting at the blue buoys by the car park, and at 2pm on Sunday at Tynemouth Longsands, meeting at the south ramp leading to Crusoe’s restaurant.
SAS can provide gloves and bin bags for beach cleans or people can bring their own. For details, contact SAS at firstname.lastname@example.org