Diary of a Beach Litter Picker

Diary of a Beach Litter Picker by D. A. Watson

[a week in the life of…..]

Monday: Sunday was a blazing hot day, and so it was busy in New Brighton. I wander down to the beach first thing with Picker and Bags. As expected the haul of plastic and glass bottles, empty crisp packets, solied nappies, odd items of clothing, drinks cans, beach toy netting and baby wipes was about average, which means there was a lot! There is some dog poo as well. Don’t pick dog poo. Much too squishy!

Tuesday: As the half-term holidays are over, weekday litter is not such a problem. I wander down for an evening walk. Just want to have a non-picking walk and watch the sun setting. But some folks have had a beach party on the rocks near the Fort. There is an empty box of 3 Beef and Onion pies, plus 11 empty glass bear bottles scattered around, 5 drinks cans, 2 polystyrene fast food containers. They also left 4 single use plastic bags, which was very considerate of them. Fill their bags with their litter and put it in the bulk bin nearby. Something they could have done themselves, but didn’t. Why is that?

Wednesday: For an unexplained reason, I couldn’t face going for a walk this evening.

Thursday: Watch an interesting YouTube video about how plastic gets into the food chain, and how we can end up eating it. That is one of the reasons I am part of a team of beach litter pickers. To try and stop all this stuff getting on to our dinner plates. Chips and plastic anyone? The other reason, the most important reason, is that New Brighton has some great beaches and coastline. Keeping it litter free is a mammoth job, but at least it’ll be nice for everyone to enjoy.

Friday: It was quite a high tide last night, so the beach has been well washed. I know that means a lot of plastic has been swept into the sea. Perhaps one day it will end up as part of one of the 5 enormous islands of plastic waste in our oceans. The Marine Lake has its own plastic Island which is difficult to clear, depending upon which way the wind blows. I get out there early in the morning and drag out bottles, polystyrene, weed tangled with discarded crabbing-line, plastic bags and a few unrecognisable things all mixed in with seaweed. But it looks nice when it’s done. I remember reading, a few weeks ago, that every bit of plastic ever made is still in existence. I reckon a good proportion of that is in New Brighton!

Saturday: It’s another warm and sunny day and the visitors stream into New Brighton. As usual there is nowhere for many of them to park. No-one seemed to think that the new development would mean more cars and more litter. Not enough bins either. I meet up with our group for one of our regular Saturday beach cleans. There is a great camaraderie because we all know we are doing something which is good, even when you feel rubbish about it. We collect 11 big bags of litter. Well done everyone. Get home tired but pleased and the cup of tea is very welcome!

Sunday: Day of Rest? Day of Worship? Day of Recreation? Day of, well… not litter picking. I feel that a Day of Feet-up is in order.

Monday: …… Sunday was busy in New Brighton …………..

[dedicated to everyone who picks up other peoples’ litter]