#Crabby coastal litter campaign
The Crabby campaign is our coastal litter reduction project. We use the campaign to provide bags to beach visitors to take their litter home with them.
The campaign started in 2021 to tackle the increasing litter problem on the beaches within the New Forest district.
Previous strategies of more bins and bin collections were not as successful at reducing our coastal litter but, in 2021 coastal litter was reduced by 19% and in 2022 by 17% through the provision of bags for visitors.
Why we run the campaign
The New Forest is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and this extends to our beautiful beaches. Aside from the unsightly nature of litter, we know that it causes significant harm to coastal and sea creatures.
The public bins at our beach locations become very full, very quickly - on busy days, they are emptied twice per day but can still be found to be overflowing.
Many well-meaning visitors would leave their bags of rubbish at the side of the public bins for collection. The consequence of this was what is termed as "animal strikes". Foxes, seagulls and other creatures rip into the unprotected bags looking for food, leaving the harmful litter to disperse and cause harm.
Aims of the campaign
The long-term aim of the Crabby campaign is to encourage all coastal visitors to take their litter home with them.
We would love to reach the point where visitors take responsibility for everything that they bring with them, disposing of refuse at a residence. Taking litter further away from our natural spaces to where it is easier to contain, control and be transported away has proven to be a successful approach.
We recognise that there is a significant risk with coastal bin locations and harmful waste making its way into the sea.
Asking each visitor to be responsible for what they bring is the best way to reduce this risk.
We have tried several approaches to fix this problem, including adding more bins to target areas.
Unfortunately, this just creates more potential locations for litter to enter the surrounding area.
Control measures such as rubber guarding to prevent access to animals often fails because of vandalism.