Regarding your article concerning litter left on the beach following a busy holiday weekend (News Guardian, June 1), a number of commentators were quick to put the blame for this debris on the shoulders of North Tyneside Council and the recently re-elected mayor, Norma Redfearn.
I feel I have to comment as this diverts us from the root cause of the litter, which is that some people think it’s perfectly acceptable to just get up and leave after visiting the beach without bothering to take their rubbish with them.
I’ve seen families finish barbecues, picnics and beach parties, then just walk away from all their detritus.
I often wonder how these people expect the rubbish to make its way to the bin on its own, or if they are waiting for the tide to sweep in and take it away for them.
I’ve seen parents take wrappers from their kids’ food and just drop them, even when there are bins just steps away. Not exactly a good example, is it?
Blaming the council and the mayor for the mess is a cop-out. People have to be more responsible for their actions, and act and behave more like decent citizens, instead of anti-social idiots.
So if we have a problem with litter, what is the solution? I don’t see how scoring cheap political points solves anything.
As with dog littering, the solution has to lie with enforcement of already existing laws.
Enforcement officers should have the power to give out on-the-spot fines for anyone seen dropping or leaving litter. Video or photographic evidence would have to be taken and the perpetrators given right to appeal, but maybe this would change the mindset that this behaviour is acceptable.
The powers are already in place to combat this anti-social behaviour so maybe it’s time they were enforced more stringently.