Local Johnshaven environmental group SHARK undertook a beach clean on Sunday as part of the national Beachwatch campaign run every year by the Marine Conservation Society.
The campaign organises volunteer led beach clean ups across Britain with volunteers gathering data on the types of debris found there.
This information helps pinpoint where marine pollution is most prevalent and is added to the MCS annual Beach watch report.
This year SHARK signed up a new volunteer to help out with their clean up.
Nigel Don MSP, along with his wife Wendy, braved the elements to help the group’s 14 volunteers clean up the foreshore.
During the clean-up they collected 19 bin bags full of debris which included a wide range of items from sewage debris, plastic bags, ropes and netting to tin cans, broken glass and bits of metal.
SHARK chairperson, Rebecca Chambers, said: “SHARK carries out four beach cleans each year and every year we find more of the same debris washed ashore, much of it harmful to wildlife and potentially hazardous to humans using the beach as well.
“The Marine Conservation Society have organised the Beachwatch event since 1994 and have found over half of the litter collected is made from plastic and that it has increased by 135% since then. Plastics may take thousands of years to fully break down and generally doesn’t leave the marine environment. This is why plastics pose a great threat to marine wildlife.”
The Johnshaven based SHARK group not only carry out beach cleaning but also run a unique village based scheme to recycle garden waste in the village.
They were recently successful in Securing funding from Awards for All, Eneco, and Zero Waste Scotland to help buy equipment for their community composting project.
The SHARK volunteers had a very busy weekend with a garden waste collection taking place on Saturday along with a fund-raising event all day in the village hall where volunteers ran a refreshment stall to support the NEOS arts events in the village followed by the beach clean on Sunday.