MARLOES and St Brides Community Council has thanked everyone who has worked so hard on two recent Marloes Sands beach cleans.

The beach was very badly affected by material coming ashore from the MV Elbcarrier's lost shipping containers. Other less accessible beaches have also suffered very severe strandings of other plastic pollution so far this winter: trawl & pot fishing material, plastic bottles & drums, etc.

The Marloes Sands Midwinter Beach Clean on December 31 saw a great effort by about 40 people, from young children to over 80s; some visitors who hadn't known about the beach clean beforehand willingly joined in – and two sure-footed teams volunteered to pick the harder-to-reach west end of Marloes Sands, and Albion Sands too.

In total they collected 65 red sacks including a lot of Elbcarrier content, seven fish boxes, one steel lobster pot, and a huge piece of trawl net.

However, within a couple of days, Marloes Sands was polluted worse than ever, and another beach clean was arranged for Sunday, January 12.

The community council was overwhelmed by the turnout, which saw 80 people turn up – including lots of very keen youngsters, and people from as far as Narberth and Tenby.

The total gather for the second beach clean was equivalent to 95 full sacks, while many people were still identifying food wrappers from Elbcarrier cargo; far and away the biggest burden in weight terms was fishing gear, especially net remnants.

Even with such a turnout, quite a lot of plastic had to be left where it was because there weren't enough people to collect and carry it all.