Used tampons and human poo dumped on Exmouth beach

Members from ‘Plastic Free Exmouth‘ (PFE), as well as independent volunteers, all clubbed together in order to remove the waste that had been discarded along the seafront following the busy crowds which gathered in Exmouth last week.

Chloe Parkman www.devonlive.com

Bottles, beers cans, used sanitary products and even human faeces are among many other things that were discovered by volunteers who carried out a beach clean in Exmouth yesterday (June 28).

Members from ‘Plastic Free Exmouth‘ (PFE), as well as independent volunteers, all clubbed together in order to remove the waste that had been discarded along the seafront following the busy crowds which gathered in Exmouth last week.

Following the discovery of human faeces, PFE member Lucy Oakes-Ash, 33 said: “If you know you are going out to the beach for the day and there is no toilets, take a doggy bag and dispose of it. There is no excuse.”

East Devon District Council (EDDC) who are regularly emptying the bins were also present at Orcombe Point.

Used sanitary products (Image: Transition Exmouth)

Lucy said: “This all came about following the warm weather which encouraged people to go to the beach.

“People from the Plastic Free Exmouth team went down on Friday morning (June 26) originally.

“They cleaned up huge volumes of rubbish and waste, the Council were also there, they’re doing a great job.”

Non-profit organisation, Plastic Free Exmouth, is an active group who work with Exmouth Council, businesses, schools, and individuals to gain certification for a Plastic Free Community with Surfers Against Sewage.

Following their beach clean on Friday, the group posted images and details of their discoveries onto social media which generated a huge response.

The organisation then arranged another beach clean which was to take place on Sunday, June 28, at around 7:30am.

Lucy adds: “The David Attenborough effect had been reduced but this bought it back into the public eye.

Overflowing bins in Exmouth (Image: Jamie Forster)

“A group of us met yesterday (June 28) completely independent of one another.”

With many members of the team conducting the clean on the beach itself, Lucy decided to venture into the shrubbery behind the beach to see if there was anything buried in the trees and so on.

She said: “The main thing we found was bottles and cans.

“Both of those things are so easily recyclable. You could see they had been so obviously thrown into the hedge.”

Despite much of the waste being relatively new, Lucy stresses that a large number of the bottles, cans and so forth had been there for quite some time.

She adds: “When some people blame the youths of today throwing their rubbish away, this wasn’t new stuff we were finding.

“We had to basically dig one bottle out as it had been buried for quite some time.”

However, the worst discovery was yet to come for Lucy.

As she made her way up the “zig zag” path behind the beach, Lucy checked behind one of the benches to see if anything had been discarded only to discover a “whole load of used tampons.”

“It made me feel very sick.

“We safely removed them using gloves, a litter picker and bags.”

The rubbish was dumped around the bin provided (Image: Jamie Forster)

On top of this, the volunteers discovered human poo which had been dumped in the hedges behind the bins at Orcombe Point.

Lucy adds: “It looked relatively fresh.

“The toilets are open by the Lifeboat Station which are only around 200 yards away.

“I have two young children and when they tell me they need to go to the loo whilst on the beach we walk that little bit further in order to use the facilities.

“There is no excuse in my mind.”

Over 20 seagulls were spotted snacking on the rubbish (Image: Alison Laxton)

Despite the heaps of litter that have been dumped along Exmouth seafront over the last week, Lucy adds: “The Council have been doing an amazing job the whole way through.

Plastic Free Exmouth have now arranged in informal beach clean which is due to take place every Sunday morning at 7:30am.

“We don’t want Exmouth painted in a bad light, it’s an absolutely beautiful beach.

A beach mat was spotted hanging out of the bin (Image: Jamie Forster)

“If we make this informal beach clean a regular thing we will stay on top of it and keep it as pristine and beautiful as possible.”

For those who wish to join in on the Sunday Morning beach clean, must ensure that they arrive at Orcombe Point with all of the appropriate equipment such as a litter picker, gloves, and bags (reusable if possible).

For further information visit Plastic Free Exmouth here.

 

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