Have you had enough of rubbish being strewn across Brighton’s beach? Are you keen to do something about it? Then join the Take It Home campaign and the Big Beach Clean-up and make the city gleam.
Grab a bin bag, put on some gloves and slip into a high-vis jacket – the Big Beach Clean-up is upon us.
Our city thrives on tourism and when the sun is blazing, our beaches erupt with life.
But when the hundreds of thousands of visitors to our beautiful beach have left, their rubbish unfortunately stays put.
Now, to combat the problem and to demonstrate the power of a city working in unison, The Argus has teamed up with Brighton and Hove City Council and various local businesses to encourage city visitors to Take It Home.
The message is clear and the aim is simple.
Enjoy a day by the seaside, soak in the unique city vibe and top up your tan.
But be sure to leave your rubbish where it belongs – in the bin.
On Monday, July 29, this newspaper, the council and businesses will flock to the seafront for this year’s Big Beach Clean-up.
Scores of volunteers will be welcomed onto the famous Brighton shingle for a mass clean-up operation after a busy weekend on the beach.
Litter pickers, safety equipment and cleaning apparatus will be provided free of charge to volunteers.
All that is needed is an hour of your time – and a desire to see our beach clean and pristine.
The morning clean-up will run from 8.30am until 9.30am and start from the Palace Pier and move west.
So far the likes of the Sealife Centre, Asda, Simon Kirby MP and Legal and General have all committed to the clean-up cause – plus a host of independent seafront businesses, too.
And your support is needed.
Tens of thousands of people are believed to have visited the beach since the start of the hot weather two weeks ago, with the VisitBrighton website receiving more than 130,000 unique visits since the beginning of July.
Brighton and Hove City Council said this is a “clear indicator” that interest in and visits to the city were high.
In addition, it estimated that the city catered for more than 50,000 visitors over the last two weekends.
In backing The Argus’ Take It Home campaign, Brighton and Hove City Council leader Jason Kitcat said the local authority is already doing everything it can.
Coun Kitcat said: “We do already have pop-up bins.
“We put out lots of extra bins on the beach and the promenade and we do have extra workers focused on the seafront.
“Sometimes it’s difficult in actually getting to the bins to empty them when there are so many people on the beach.
“It really should not be beyond human means for people to walk a few yards to use the bins pro- vided.
“There’s no excuse at all.”
Coun Kitcat said he would look into whether on- the-spot fines were possible for those ruining the beach.
He said: “Knowing local government it’s probably extremely complicated and it may be it could only be done with a police officer present but I will look into it.”
The comments come as the local authority confirmed it picked up 20 tonnes from the beach last weekend – more than a fifth of the 90 tonnes of waste collected across the entire city.
Nappies, disposable barbecues and drink cans were among the rubbish discarded as council staff got up at the crack of dawn to ready the beach for the next day.
Coun Kitcat said the clean-up put extra pressure on the local authority’s budget.
He said: “It’s a huge amount of money for the council taxpayer. “It can be very expensive and we have to get in extra workers and more bins.
“Clearly we take great pride in the city and the beach and we’re delighted that people come here but it’s the council taxpayer that has to pick up the bill with the clear-up.”
Max Leviston, boss at the Sealife Centre in Marine Parade, Brighton, said it was essential for tourism that our beaches remained protected.
He added: “It is also crucial in terms of protecting the environment and our sea life that we clean up bottles and litter left behind.
“I am delighted to back the Argus Take It Home campaign and I will be on the beach on Monday to help with the clean up.”
A spokeswoman for the Marine Conservation Society said dirty beaches don't just threaten tourism and the tax-payer.
She said: “It’s appalling that people leave rubbish strewn all over beaches when they’ve finished their day.
“The hot weather is glorious and we all want to be taking advantage of it – but not on beaches full of rubbish.
“Aside from people not wanting to return to a town or city with rubbish-strewn beaches, it also has a huge impact on wildlife.
“Animals can get entangled in litter or get caught in beer cans, for example.
“Also, with this hot weather, migrating turtles could mistake plastic bags for jelly fish and eat them.
“The repercussions are major. Just bin your rubbish. If the bins are full, take it home.”
Andrew Mosley, general manger at The Grand hotel said the staff at the hotel were delighted to help with the beach clean-up.
He said: “We are delighted to help the staff who clean up the beach every day.
“It is a 24/7 job with the amazing visitor numbers we are getting at the moment.
“People are staying much later on the beach, they are having barbecues and it is good to see them enjoy themselves.
“But we have to manage the impact. Long live Brighton – and long live this weather.”
The Argus says:
The seafront is the shop front for Brighton and Hove. It must be kept in the best possible condition.
The extraordinary summer weather has seen visitors flock to the beach in huge numbers. It is a mammoth task to manage such a huge impact in a highly sensitive area.
That is why The Argus Take It Home campaign matters more than ever.
It is vital for businesses that the beach remains as pristine as possible. But, more importantly, the survival of the fragile ecosystem depends on our unflagging efforts.
On Monday, July 29 The Argus, with the backing of Brighton and Hove City Council, is organising a big beach clean-up.
More than 50 businesses and individuals signed up to join the effort within hours. More will follow.
We are proud of our city – and we will do what it takes to make sure that the shop front is a testament to our pride.
Mark Brady owner of the the World-Famous Pump Room, Kings Road Arches
“The sun is out and business is booming but naturally, the more people who come here the more rubbish is left over.
“The tourists no doubt love coming here and we love having them. But putting rubbish in a bin is a simple task.
“It’s not fair on other people who want to use the beach, nor is it fair on local residents and business owners. We are spoilt here in Brighton with having such a beautiful attraction and we should take care of it.
“I fully support the Take It Home campaign and will be out with gusto on Monday to help clean the beach after what should be another busy weekend.”
Neil Messenger, Sea Haze fishmongers, Kings Road Arches
“To be honest we’re out every morning anyway cleaning outside our shop, but an hour on Monday doing the rest of the beach should be no problem. We’d love to help.
“You do get a handful of tourists leaving rubbish on the beach, but I’d say the majority of them are being respectful and bagging their waste up and binning it. We need to look closer to home I think.
“Most of the rubbish I find in the morning comes from the nightclubs and the people who go there.
“Things like broken bottles, glass and especially nightclub flyers. The flyers stick to the floor and make it difficult for the council cleaners – who do a brilliant job by the way – to pick them up.”
Kirsty Mullahy, Brighton Watersports, Kings Road
“The rubbish is definitely a problem and even more so in the summer months when more people come here from other towns and cities.
“Various members of staff have cut their feet when picking up rubbish near our shop. It just seems like the people who leave rubbish on the beach don’t care.
"The council send out pickers in the morning and in the evening and I must admit they do a fantastic job, but it’s when the wind comes and blows it around everywhere that it gets difficult.
“More signs are needed on the beach asking people to remove their rubbish when they leave.
"They need to take responsibility and ensure others can enjoy the beach when they have left.
“The clean-up operation sounds really positive and I’m sure our guys will be happy to get involved on Monday morning and do our bit.”
Who's involved so far?
Sea Life Centre
Jo Brooks PR
The Grand Hotel
Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce
Legal and General
Simon Kirby MP
The Pump Room
Bar De La Mer
Brighton Water Sports
Sea Haze Fish Mongers