GET DRASTIC WITH PLASTIC: Clean-up crews rescue walker and seal pup

The Alnmouth clean-up team.
The Alnmouth clean-up team.

Discarded fishing nets and lines, spent lobster pots and plastic were among the haul cleared from beaches in Amble and Alnmouth.

Members of staff from Active Northumberland joined forces with volunteers from the Northumberland Coastcare team to do their bit.

The haul from the Amble beach clean.

The haul from the Amble beach clean.

The clean-up at Amble proved to be quite eventful.

The volunteers came across a walker who had slipped and hurt her back on rocks so ended up helping her and calling the coastguards to stretcher her off the beach into a waiting ambulance.

They also rescued an injured, hungry and underweight seal pup.

It was taken to a local vet.

Get Drastic With Plastic, a Northumberland Gazette environmental campaign.

Get Drastic With Plastic, a Northumberland Gazette environmental campaign.

The pup weighed only 12.6kg, below the weight it was born at, when it should have weighed in at around 35kg.

Taste beverages donated reusable cups and hot chocolate for all participants.

Ami Cook, from Active Northumberland, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our beautiful beaches which are some of the very best in the country. However, keeping them clean is an ongoing job as so much debris gets washed in by the tides and regular clean ups are needed to keep the coastline free of rubbish and plastic that can harm marine life and wildlife.

“We were happy to help out and do our bit and hope to arrange more beach cleans for staff and customers in the near future, and continue working with Coastcare.”

There are many ways you can help the campaign to reduce, single-use plastics, and clean up our county and country.

A greater awareness and a change in attitudes can reduce plastic waste.

Since the plastic-bag charge began, a reduction of plastic bags has been found on UK coasts.

We are seeing further commitment and positive steps from the Government and many companies are committing to changing their packaging.

These things combined can have a huge impact. But there some steps everyone can take, which don’t take up too much time and don’t cost too much – but help to protect our environment.

You can:

1. Buy a refillable water bottle;

2. Buy a reusable coffee cup;

3. Say no to plastic straws;

4. Use paper-stemmed cotton buds;

5. Join a beach clean.