Nappies, socks, and a broken camping chair – Some of the rubbish left on Seaburn beach during the heatwave

As thousands head down to the beach this weekend to enjoy the Sunderland Airshow, spare a thought about all the rubbish.

By James Barker
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 16:45
Overall, 24 bags of rubbish were collected over the two days

Thousands of people headed to the region’s beaches during the recent warm weather, leading to a large amount of litter being discarded on the sand.

Vijay Kritzinger, a volunteer for Sea Shepherds UK, took a trip down to Seaburn beach on Wednesday evening, July 24. She went down to go dolphin spotting and was shocked to see the beach covered in discarded belongings from people visiting the beach. She said: “I had only been there a couple of minutes and it was terrible. I keep some beach cleaning kit in my car and I immediately went and got it.

“I saw the beach in a horrendous state, I had to do something about it.”

Vijay Kritzinger (left), with volunteers Josh and Jessica Hughes.

She went to work and managed to collect six full black bags full of discarded shoes, socks, nappies, dog waste bags, and many more.

She has volunteered with the Sea Shepherds from nearly a year and regularly arranges beach clean sessions up and down the coast.

Vijay, from Washington, came back the following day on Thursday evening, July 25, to see if the condition of the beach had improved. It had not, and was joined by some volunteers, who collected a further 18 bags of rubbish from Seaburn beach.

Most of the rubbish, on this occasion, included dozens of bottles, buckets, food packaging, and even a broken camping chair.

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Seaburn beach littered with rubbish

She added: “There’s just so much rubbish being left by beach goers. People need to take their rubbish away. It’s not like there isn’t enough bins along the beach. I saw a council worker who was emptying them and most of them were empty.”

James Jakubowski, who lives in Whitburn, also joined in on the clean up operation. He said: “This is my local beach which saddens me to see these ignorant people come and abuse it.

“The tide comes in and washes away the mess for the wildlife to have to deal with. I really feel strongly about this. And this weekend is going to be even worse with the airshow.”

The impact on the local wildlife is massive. The group has found large amounts of rubbish along the coast, but also broken fishing line, lobster pots, and rope, which can become in-tangled with the birds and pollute the fish and dolphins who come close to the shoreline.

Nappies and other rubbish discarded on Seaburn beach
Broken camping chairs and left over fishing nets, on Seaburn beach
Bottles littered Seaburn beach