Portishead swimmer urges people to help 'beautiful planet' after finding hundreds of bottles in bay

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 November 2019

Amatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Amatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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A Portishead woman who collects dozens of plastic bottles while swimming in the sea has urged people 'be aware of the ecological damage of plastic'.

Amatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONAmatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Debbie Vincent, of Pembroke Road, takes to the water at Redcliffe Bay.

The keen swimmer collects around 50 single-use plastic bottles from the estuary and shore each week, but with the recent inclement weather that number has surged into the hundreds.

Debbie told the Times: "I swim in the River Severn a few times a week and I notice the marine debris and feel it's my responsibility to help with cleaning up some of the debris and rubbish I see.

"With the weather getting a bit windier and the recent spring tide, more plastic has been washed up."

Amatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONAmatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The perils of single-use plastic have become more widely known in the past few years largely thanks to David Attenborough's BBC documentary Blue Planet II, which highlighted the shocking scale of marine pollution, and clean up efforts have increased around Britain's coast since.

Debbie is frustrated big businesses are not tackling the issue, and has encouraged more people to do their part.

She said: "With us all being aware of the ecological damage of plastic, especially single-use plastic, it is sad little seems to be being done over single-use plastic.

"With industry and supermarkets doing very little, it's left to individuals to deal with the issue.

Amatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONAmatuer sea swimmer Debbie Vincent, collects dozens of plastic bottles each time she takes to the water. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"There should be much more involvement from those who enjoy the Severn Estuary by getting involved with community beach cleans such as those done by Turn The Tide Portishead."

Debbie believes each person can make a difference to help 'our beautiful planet'.

She said: "Education and responsible stewardship of our planet should be paramount in all our lives and we can all make a difference every single day, in the simple steps of what we do and what we buy.

"We all pay expensive water rates for clean drinking water, so please think about not buying plastic bottled drinks. Ask your supermarket what they're doing to cut back on the amount of single-use plastic packaging.

"The future is in our hands and I hope more people will think about the long-term consequences of what we do and make it count."

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