Charity slams dog owners who bag waste – but then don’t bin it at Selsey and Bracklesham beaches

SHRINK-wrapped dog mess in plastic bags found on beaches in Selsey and Bracklesham could threaten the health and safety of visitors, the

Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has said.

The charity said dog fouling, scooped in bags and left on beaches, rose more than 11 per cent in the UK between 2010 and 2011.

During its Beachwatch Big Weekend last September, 23 bags of fouling was found in total at Selsey beaches and six bags were found at Bracklesham.

MCS beachwatch officer, Lauren Davis, said: “We’re delighted that pet owners enjoy dog friendly beaches and clearly think ahead by carrying poop scoop bags. But we hope our findings will now encourage them to take the bag off the beach and bin it in one of the many receptacles provided for the job.

“Leaving a bag full of mess on the beach will result in preserved excrement, protected from the elements for years by a bag which could take a long time to break down.”

The MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend 2011 results were collected by nearly 4,500 volunteers who cleaned 335 beaches, covering a total of 142.3 kilometres. 247,914 items of litter were collected filling over 2,177 bags.

For every kilometre surveyed almost 1,741 pieces of litter were found. MCS said it’s also concerned by a rise in the number of balloons found on UK beaches during the Beachwatch Big Weekend, increasing by 8 per cent since 2010.

Lauren added: “With 2012 set to be a year of celebrations,we really need people to understand why letting go is a bad idea. There is clear evidence that balloons harm wildlife in the marine environment and we don’t want to see 2012 leaving a legacy of littering.”

MCS says litter levels dropped in 2009 from an all time high in 2008 and rose again in 2010.

The charity says it hopes the drop of 11 per cent last year will be the start of a downward trend.

“Litter levels on our beaches are still are worryingly high,” said Lauren.