Brighton & Hove City Council has struck back in the battle against littering, with sunseekers told to ‘Love our beach’ or face an on-the-spot fine of £150.
The city was one of several places in Britain that drew thousands of visitors during the late-June heatwave. Pictures of rubbish-strewn parks and beaches along with pleas from those managing outdoor public spaces flooded Twitter and other social media sites.
Ahead of further easing of lockdown on July 4, dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, many councils are fearing similar scenes.
On average three tonnes of beach litter is collected in Brighton at this time of year. Thursday June 25 saw 11 tonnes of rubbish collected – the largest amount ever on a single day. The previous day it had taken six people five hours to clean 600 metres of beach. To help supplement collections Brighton & Hove City Council was forced to deploy cleaning staff from elsewhere in the city.
Along with other new measures including the addition of temporary trade-waste sized bins, the council is erecting 40 signs along the seafront asking people to bin litter properly, take it home, or risk a £150 fine.
Anything left on the beach counts as littering, from cigarette butts, food and food packaging to bottle tops and broken flip-flops. Enforcement officers will be patrolling the beach from 9am to 7pm.
Cllr Anne Pissaridou, chair of BHCC’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said that the council faces a constant battle with people who “don’t care about other people, the environment or our wildlife and marine life.”
She added: “Our beach teams work incredibly hard but they cannot be on every part of the seven-mile long seafront every minute clearing up after people.”
Seafront bylaws also forbid beach barbecues until after 6pm, and only on certain beaches. The stretch in between Brighton’s two piers and Hove Lawns – a green, seafront space just beyond the i360 attraction – are out of bounds.