43 Bags Of Litter Collected At Beaches

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DESPITE the bad weather on Saturday, volunteers came together on three of Kerry’s beaches to join in on the ‘Beach Blitz’ and help clean up Banna Beach, Maherabeg Cut and Blennerville.

A fantastic effort was made by all those who braved the elements. A total of 24 people turned up and gave just one hour of their time and removed over 43 bags of litter from the three locations.

On Banna, the storms threw up vast amounts of small pieces of plastic entangled in dead grass into the dunes. Although 25 bags of litter, almost entirely made up of plastics, were collected off the dunes, there is still a huge amount to be removed!

In Blennerville, eight volunteers filled eight full bags, plus a tonne bag with scrap metal, carpets etc. plus the remnants of a fire heap. Sadly, the majority of the litter was from illegal dumping rather than marine litter, ranging from household rubbish to electrical appliances and an old garden bench.

Some of the volunteers taking part in the clean-up of beaches over the weekend.

Some of the volunteers taking part in the clean-up of beaches over the weekend.

In the Maharees, four volunteers collected 10 bags from Maherabeg Cut (the Dumps). However, this is only part of the story as there has been more clean ups than you can shake a stick at over the last few weeks. Groups have been cleaning up around Spillanes, Stoney Gap, Kilshannig and the Warren. According to Peter Green there is ‘still much to do, but overall there has been a huge response from locals’.

Rachel Boyle of Banna Coastcare added: “The litter we remove from the coast is not representative of the full load of marine litter in the environment. In fact, some say it only represents approximately 15% the remainder is on the seabed and floating in the water column.”

“It’s always disappointing to see litter washed up on to our beautiful beaches but it’s fantastic when you see people coming together, young and old, and giving up their time to care for our coastline,” said Rachel.

The clean-ups were organised by Rachel Boyle (Banna Coastcare) Peter Green and Rose Spillane (Maharees Coast Care) David McCormick (Tralee Bay Wetlands Coastcare) and Niall Harkin (Blennerville Bay Clean).

Kerry County Council supported the event by removing all the bags collected. The ‘Beach Blitz’ is an annual event organised in conjunction with Kerry County Council.

The ‘Beach Blitz’ offered a chance to highlight Clean Coasts Week which will run from the 9th to the 18th of May. For further information go to www.cleancoastsweek.ie or phone 014002210.

Volunteers involved in the clean-up at the weekend.

Volunteers involved in the clean-up at the weekend.

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