Hartlepool food firm helping to turn the tide on beach waste

Staff from Kerry Foods take part in a beach clean at Seaton Carew. Picture by Tom Banks
Staff from Kerry Foods take part in a beach clean at Seaton Carew. Picture by Tom Banks

A beach clean by members of a Hartlepool food manufacturing company had all the ingredients for success.

Workers from Kerry, in Brenda Road, hit the sands at Seaton Carew armed with litter pickers and plastic bags as they contributed to the UK’s biggest beach clean and survey programme.

A worker from Kerry Foods

A worker from Kerry Foods

They signed up to the Marine and Conservation Society’s 25th Great British Beach Clean, which ran all around the UK between Friday and yesterday.

The Kerry team removed rubbish from a 100-metre stretch of Seaton Carew on Friday.

Gary Emerson, Health, Safety & Environmental Manager for Kerry, said: “The clean-up went well. Six of us went down and we picked up a lot of plastic; bags, containers, bottles and tops, and also waste food packaging that had been discarded close to the promenade.

“Details of what we found will be used by the Marine Conservation Society to produce a report into the types of waste found on UK beaches.”

Gary said they hoped to create more public awareness to make our local beaches and seas free from waste and pollution.

He added it was part of the company’s commitment to the community and sustainability.

Staff have previously volunteered to help local food banks and in the future hopes to work with Saltholme RSPB nature reserve.

The Marine and Conservation Society said: “Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from the waste and litter in our seas, with hundreds of species accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter. It’s also dangerous for people and damaging to our tourism and fishing industries.

“The information our volunteers have collected over the last 25 years has helped make some of the most significant impacts on beach litter ever – the plastic bag charge, microplastics banned in personal care products, better wet wipe labelling, and massive support for a tax on ‘on the go’ plastic single use items.

“But it’s not job done. We need to gather more and more data to wage war on other types of beach litter.”

The MCS Great British Beach Clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year-round Beachwatch programme. More than 400 events are expected to have been held over the last four days.