The Green Bishop Geoff Davies makes an appeal to holiday makers re litter on our beaches ….

Rubbish collected at the beach in one walkWhenever I have had the opportunity of holidaying at my friend’s wild and isolated cottage on our spectacular South African coast, I am determined to write about it. Once back at work, the wonder and concerns I wanted to write about are forgotten till the next opportunity.

To get to this cottage, you climb a kilometre down a steep slope or hike two kilometres along the beach, carrying all your provisions. Every time we go there, Kate and I become obsessed with the rubbish – predominantly plastic – we find washed up on the beach and we spend hours collecting and carting it up the cliff in large black plastic bags. It can’t all come from local fishermen and hikers. Bottles and running shoes have oriental writing so obviously it is cast overboard from passing ships.

So, can there not be greater marine regulations which prohibit the dumping overboard of non-biodegradable matter from ships? This is obviously the main source of pollution on our coast.

At the same time all of us need to recognise our responsibility a) not to litter, b) to take a plastic bag with us when we visit our beaches to collect any plastic, tins, sweet wrappings, drinking straws and bottles we can find. It may be a fraction of the rubbish on our coast but every bit of rubbish you collect might save a creature.

As we begin to prepare for summer holidays let us think of the part we can play to help prevent pollution and keep our beaches clean.