PLASTIC cups and pizza boxes were left scattered across the beach and seafront.

This followed the hottest day of the year which saw a large number of people visit Brighton and Hove seafront to soak up the sun after lockdown measures were loosened last week.

But the increased visitor numbers also saw an increase in the amount of waste created.

Read more: Pictures show busy Brighton beach after lockdown ease

Much of the rubbish was made up of food and drink containers, with takeaways slowly starting to reopen for business.

The Argus:

Plastic cups and bottles were left on the beach to the west of Brighton Palace Pier.

Meanwhile overflowing bins were surrounded by used pizza boxes on the promenade in Hove.

One passerby, who wished to remain anonymous, described the beach as having been “trashed” after being “rammed” with people yesterday.

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He said: “I was out for my morning walk at 7am and there was rubbish everywhere - the beach was busy yesterday so this was not surprising, but I think it’s especially sad in light of the pandemic.

“There is a blatant disregard for the environment and a big lesson we should all be learning right now is the fragility of the natural world and our place in it.

“We should be coming out of this with gratitude. With respect for where we live, for the world that takes care of us.

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“Trashing a beach is not the way to do that - leaving rubbish for seabirds to ingest or to end up in the sea to further pollute the oceans and kill sea creatures is not the way to do that.

“It shows that, even during a pandemic, some people still have little care for the world that provides everything for us and I feel deeply ashamed on behalf of everyone who left rubbish for someone else to clear up.

“The council services are already so stretched and now they will have to deploy staff to clean the beach - people don’t think about that.”

But he said an increase in visitor numbers was “not surprising” as updated government guidelines were “as clear as mud”.

He said: “The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) basically gave a green light for people to head to Brighton just as the warm weather is returning and we have a bank holiday weekend.”

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New lockdown rules, brought in last Wednesday, allow people to go for a picnic, sunbathe and relax in public places with members of their household.

But social distancing guidelines are still encouraged, with people urged to stay two metres away from those who they do not live with.

Read more: What can you do as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease

The passerby expressed concerns that the increase in visitor numbers could lead to a second wave of coronavirus.

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He said: “It seems people are forgetting that there are still people dying every day and carers and hospital staff are putting their lives on the line to look after our friends and families.

“It is impossible to socially distance correctly and safely on a busy beach.”

With more people now visiting beaches, Brighton and Hove City Council said its "seafront cleaning and clearing service is getting back to normal again to ensure our beaches are free from litter and other debris".

The authority will also be "employing more staff to increase collections and litter-picking".

But it reminded people not to leave their rubbish behind after visiting the seafront.

The Argus:

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: "We’d like to remind people using the beach to take their litter with them and find a bin to put it in.

"There are now more than 300 bins along the seafront so there’s  no reason for leaving waste on the beach or dumping it beside an already full bin.

"If, in the unlikely event someone can’t find a bin, I would urge them to take their waste home and place it in their household waste or recycling.

The Argus:

"We are living through strange times and currently in lockdown to protect us from spreading this deadly virus.  

"That is all the more reason to protect each other and our staff and keep our beaches clean while protecting the seas and the environment. 

"I am so proud of the people of Brighton and Hove who are observing social distancing and taking all measures to protect ourselves and others."

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