BEACHGOERS must be ‘accountable for their actions’ following massive littering on Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year.
Bottles, plastic bags and rubbish were left on the sand across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole late last week.
Around 25,000 to 35,000 people were on Bournemouth beach on Friday, according to the BCP Council, with thousands more filling Mudeford sandbank, Alum Chine and Southbourne beaches.
Beer bottles, shopping bags and cigarette butts were among the items left behind by visitors in what was described as a “total ruin”.
Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Beverley Dunlop, believes the local authority is doing the “absolute maximum” to tackle the problem.
She said, “It’s appalling and unacceptable.
“People like to blame tourists, but it’s not just them. I think it’s a general part of the population that just doesn’t seem to want to pick up their trash and bring it home.
“We are doing our best. From a tourism perspective, we have invested extra money to keep the waterfront clean. We know this is a priority and important for residents who want to live in a clean and tidy place.
“We have increased garbage collections, increased bin collections and increased cleaning crews, but there is an element of personal responsibility that we have to try to make people understand. I’m as appalled as everyone because I think we’re doing the absolute best we can.
“We are asking everyone who visits the waterfront to take their rubbish home.”
Footage of the littered beach circulated on social media over the weekend, with one particularly shocking video captured by resident Amy McBrayne.
She said: “When we see rubbish like this, it puts you off going into the water on a sunny day because there’s a chance you’ll come across a floating dirty diaper or walk through broken glass. in the sand.”
But it wasn’t just the beach that was left in poor condition after the hot weather on Friday – residents also reported an increase in litter on nearby roads and walkways.
Brian Sutcliffe, a member of the Dorset Devils volunteer litter collection group, said: ‘The roads around the beach were dirty on Saturday morning.
“Instead of just following a schedule, the council needs to adjust street cleaning based on weather conditions and tourists. The streets are cleaned on the same day every week, winter and summer, whatever the conditions.
“You should clean as needed, not on schedule.”