'It fills me with anger': Broken bottles, cans and plastic bags left by Blackpool beachgoers sparks outrage

Anger as "appalling amount" of rubbish from plastic buckets to broken bottles are left scattered on beaches across Blackpool by beachgoers.

May 2020 is shaping up to be the country’s driest since 1896, with just 31.5mm of rain falling in the month so far.

Sunny skies, hot weather and mild evenings have dominated the weather over the past week, making for an "exceptional spring" according to the Met Office.

However, the warm weather and eased lockdown restrictions have brought large crowds to the seafront, resulting in the resort's beaches being covered in litter.

Julia Bennett, a resident of Blackpool, was walking along the Lower Promenade in Bispham when she came across an "appalling amount" of broken bottles, cans and plastic bags that had been left strewn across the ground.

She said: "It fills me with anger and sadness that there are NHS and key workers still risking their lives during this tragic pandemic, while others can’t even be bothered to do something simple like take their rubbish home - never mind follow the current guidance regarding only two people meeting outside.

"There were smashed bottles among the debris which are a danger for people wanting to use the prom/beach today so I’ve reported the rubbish to the council using their online form this morning."

Gavin Breakell, a 39-year-old freelance photographer who cleans litter on Blackpool’s beach several times a week, said he has picked up "all sorts of items."

Broken bottles, cans and plastic bags left scattered on a bench on the Lower Promenade in Bispham.

Gavin, who lives on Whitegate Drive, said: “Among other things I have collected clothes, bucket and spades, footballs, bottles, cans, needles and loads of takeaway bags and burger boxes.

"Just these last couple of days it has been quite bad but other than that the beaches have been superb.

"It’s not local residents, it’s tourists that are doing this. If it was residents, the beaches would be a mess all the time."

Blackpool Council, whose tourist arm rebranded itself as 'Do Not Visit Blackpool' before the lockdown easing to discourage day-trippers, said it was "a real disappointment" seeing the litter on resort’s beaches.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council said: "We’ve seen several photos circulating on social media in regards to rubbish left on our beaches and public spaces recently.

"After seeing the town and coastline look so clean and tidy the last couple of months - this is a real disappointment.

"Take your litter home or dispose of it, there’s no excuse not to keep Blackpool tidy."

The council has been working with Keep Britain Tidy, local residents, businesses and visitors to reduce the amount of litter dropped in Blackpool.

So far they've added more bins to the streets, introduce £80 litter fines and held litter picking events to keep Blackpool tidy.

A dedicated team of staff and community of volunteers also play an active part in ensuring that the whole town continues to remain clean, but the increasing amount of rubbish left behind by beachgoers is becoming an escalating problem.

Emily Parr, from environmental group Fylde LOVEmyBEACH, said: "Council services are stretched and unfortunately some bins are filling up faster than they can be emptied.

"If you see an overflowing bin, please don’t add to the pile. Instead take your litter home."

To see how you can help keep Blackpool tidy, click HERE.

To report litter, click HERE.

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