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Youths hit beach... for a big clean-up

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 18/07/2011

Young people from Portstewart and Bushmills have taken to the water in an innovative project to highlight problems caused by plastic which is dumped in Northern Ireland's rivers and seas.

The 25 volunteers from Portstewart Young Vision and Bushmills Young People's Group took part in several beach clean-ups along the North Coast in reward for paddle board lessons.

Their clean-up revealed that plastic products, in particular drinks bottles, which can be recycled, are being recklessly discarded along the coast and are ending up in the sea in significant numbers.

Patricia Magee, the national coastal officer with TIDY Northern Ireland, which supported the project, said the clean-up highlighted how more can be done locally to tackle discarded waste.

"A considerable amount is generated locally, and not just in our seaside resorts.

"Our own rivers bring waste from inland areas, and sadly this does nothing to improve water quality or help the North Coast retain its Blue Flag status beaches."

The five-week programme was organised by the North Eastern Library Board's youth service.

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