Don’t be a ghoul this Halloween: #BinIt4Beaches!

Mon, 2017-10-30 09:23

Let’s set the scene.

It’s a beautiful, crisp, autumnal afternoon and you’re taking a stroll down a beautiful country lane or along one of our stunning beaches along the north west coast. Perhaps you’re joined by man’s best friend, or maybe, some spooky trick-or-treaters.

Then you see it - a little black bag.

It might be hung on a branch, half buried in the sand or just lying on the ground. Unfortunately it’s not filled with delicious Halloween treats, rather its full of something a little more… foul!

Hundreds of bags of dog poo have been found on the UK’s beaches; that’s according to the Marine Conservations Society’s 2016 research. Over a single weekend in September last year, 792 bags were recorded and removed from 364 beaches by volunteers during the Great British Beach Clean.

Though these numbers are a great start to recording the problem, they don’t show the full scale of poop bag invasion we’re facing. Beach clean volunteers don’t make note of un-bagged dog waste, which means that the total amount of dog poo on our beautiful beaches remains unknown. And because the poo is wrapped in a plastic bag, we’re adding another problem to our environment. Like an irritating poltergeist, plastic just won’t go away! It doesn’t rot, decay or disappear – instead it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces, which can cause big problems for wildlife.   

You might think that leaving dog poo on the beach is OK, because the tide will come in and wash it away into the deep blue sea. But this natural disposal technique isn’t the best thing for our beaches and seas! Bacteria and other ghastly, ghoulish things present in dog poo can be potentially harmful to people using the beach, and can also have a scary effect on the quality of our bathing waters.

That’s why organisations and campaigns from across the UK are uniting this week for #binit4beaches; a campaign focused on reducing pollution and litter at the beach and calling for dog owners to help with on-going improvements.

Millions of people head to the UK’s beaches to relax, paddle and swim every year – yes, even in the winter - and we want our water quality to be the best it can be. Last year 98.5% of the UK’s bathing waters met the tough minimum standards. By working together, we can continue to help protect and improve water quality. So, if you visit the beach with your dog, don’t be a ghoul and please do your bit to help by bagging and binning your dog poo, making the beach safe for everyone to enjoy.

 

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