An Angus councillor is urging communities throughout the county to follow the lead of East Haven residents after a successful beach clean-up.
Councillor Julie Bell, Angus Council’s habitat champion for marine littering, has praised the massive community effort in the sea-side village as volunteers continue to battle a growing tide of litter washed up on the beach.
She hopes their efforts will now be replicated across Angus and asks visitors to the area’s beaches to do their part to clean up the environment.
On Sunday bags of rubbish weighing 61.2 kilos were collected by volunteers, and at least half a tonne of marine rope was pulled out of the beach by tractor.
The event was organised by Angus Clean Environments which supports the Don’t Let Go campaign, led by the Marine Conservation Society and aimed at raising awareness of the problems caused by discarded balloons.
Ms Bell, SNP councillor for Kirriemuir and Dean, said: “It was a fantastic community effort which attracted people from across Angus.
“I really hope they take the message back to their own communities.”
In 2015 Angus Council passed a policy which banned the release of balloons and sky lanterns from council property and also at events endorsed by the authority.
The items can cause harm to wildlife and the environment. Farm animals often mistake the balloons for food while birds and marine animals become entangled in them
Ms Bell said: “We completely understand people’s need to grieve or celebrate and would encourage ways that look after the environment.
“The main message we want to get across is , don’t let go of balloons, whether they are helium or ordinary, or sky lanterns which can do massive damage to the environment.
“One of the most annoying things was the shredded remnants of plastic carrier bags.
“There were no new carrier bags so the five pence charge has made a huge difference, but there were lots of plastic cotton buds and bits of sanitary products — another reminder to people not to put that kind of waste down the toilet.
“Hopefully Sunday’s clean-up will inspire others to take a couple of minutes when they are visiting the beach to pick up the litter and dispose of it properly.”
More about alternatives to balloon releases can be found on the ACE website.