Recently I’ve taken to walking along St Aubin’s Bay and picking up some litter on the way, pictured above, it mostly consists of plastic bottles, fishing related debris, there is a variety of plastic, polystyrene, and peoples discarded dog poo bags, how senseless is it to put the poo in the bag then leave it on the beach to cause more harm than if they had let the dog do its business then kick a load of sand over it, dog walkers appear happy enough to let their dogs shit all over the cliff paths when their out of sight of others. Regarding plastic bottles the States of Jersey have started recycling these and placed bins around the island I did inform them and it was noted that a bin or bins should be placed along the beaches for this purpose also, and a Scrutiny report also recommended this, it would also be worth having bins for aluminium cans.
14th January 2013 Molly Ward commented in the Jersey Evening Post about a beach clean at St Clement’s Bay she had been part of run by the local branch of Sea Shepherd, she stated that the group had picked up 122 plastic bottles, and ten black bin bags full of a variety of rubbish including netting and rope.
Jersey Evening Post 9 th August 2010: “at St Clement and in the 30 minutes it took to walk to Le Marais and back I picked up seven separate items, including two lightbulbs, a florescent light bulb, a large jar of mustard, a large coffee jar and two empty wine bottles. There were more items, but this was as much as I could carry in my rucksack.”
BBC Guernsey 2009: The density of litter on the Channel Island’s beaches is the third highest in the UK and islands, a survey found. About 1,446 items of rubbish were found per kilometre, a 2% rise on 2007.
The Jersey Evening Post ran the following in 2011: On-the-spot fines could be introduced in a new zero-tolerance approach to littering, according to a report out today. The report says that no littering fines have been given ‘in living memory’ and that it should be a higher priority for the police. The report also proposes fixed-penalty fines for dog fouling, and a tax on litter objects be looked into to cover the cost of collecting and clearing of the objects.
Jersey Harbours supply bins for fisherman at the busier harbours for them to put their rubbish, but it would appear many are continuing to throw rubbish in the sea, which is actually destroying the habitat that they rely on for a living.
It would be good if the States themselves led by example and made sure that what is supposed to be inert waste dumped at La Collette does not include a variety of litter and said litter is cleared up and not allowed to spread into or leach into the surrounding sea.
Surfers against Sewage figures on beach litter:
39.9% from public
5.4% Sewage related debris
11.3% Fishing litter
1.2% fly tipping
0.2% medical waste
38.3% non sourced
BBC Guernsey 8 th April 2009: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/guernsey/7989191.stm
JEP 18th July 2011: http://www.thisisjersey.com/latest/2011/07/18/on-the-spot-fines-for-litter/
BBC Jersey 20 th July 2011:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-14214753
La Baguette 2008: http://www.labaguette.org.je/story72.htm
JEP 10th August 2010: http://www.thisisjersey.com/latest/2010/08/10/showing-we-value-our-coastline/
http://www.scrutiny.gov.je Scrutiny Report Policing of Beaches and Parks 18th July 2011
Once discarded litter can remain a hazard in the environment for a very long time:
Cigarette Butts – 1 to 5 years
Do you know that an estimated 2 billion cigarette butts are littered every day, and the concentrated toxins in just one cigarette butt is enough to cause long term environmental damage that can take decades to reverse.
Orange and Banana peels – up to 2 years
Paper Bag – 1 month
Wood – 10 to 15 years
These could be composted or mulched
Plastic coated paper – 5 years
Plastic bags – 10 to 20 years
Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years
Plastic 6-pack holders – 100 years
Items that could be recycled:
Paper & Cardboard – 1 month – many years
Tin Cans – 80 to 100 years
Aluminum Cans – 200 to 500 years
Glass Bottles – 1,000,000 years
Plastic Bottles – Unknown, perhaps millions of years
Styrofoam – Unknown, perhaps millions of years