Join us in litter pick at Hopes Nose - clearing up after irresponsible few

This Sunday, there is a litter pick to remove litter left by an irresponsible few at Hopes Nose

This Sunday, there is a litter pick to remove disturbing amounts of litter left by an irresponsible few at Hopes Nose - Credit: pxhere.com

Life has changed in so many ways for so many of us over the past 16 months.

Since the coronavirus pandemic first took hold, we have all faced unprecedented challenges and a lot has been asked of us.

Many of the restrictions were lifted this week, but it’s a bitter-sweet moment.

As we learn to live with the risk of Covid-19, it  marks the start of getting life back to normal, something  we’ve long looked forward to.

But with Covid-19 still prevalent, it’s certainly not the happy milestone I had once expected.

We’re now seeing hundreds of new Covid-19 cases in Torbay every week, the highest they have been in the pandemic so far.

This Monday, we were 588 cases per 100,000, compared with 266 per 100,000 in our last peak in January.

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That number is rapidly growing, particularly in our young working age residents under 29 who are not yet fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations are protecting the 55 year olds - over 90 per cent have had two doses of the vaccine - and those who have underlying health conditions.

So, I’d encourage everyone to get their first or second doses as soon as they can if they haven’t already.

Even though restrictions have been lifted we can all play our part to help protect one another by remaining cautious.

Around one in three people who have Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms so we’re all being asked to remember hands, face, and space, and to try and limit close contact indoors.

If we act together and take personal responsibility for ourselves and others, we can protect our loved ones, minimise pressure on our NHS and help our local businesses stay open.

It was pleasing to note that when I went on the bus on Monday, after legal restrictions had expired, all but one person was wearing a face mark.

We have achieved so much in the last 16 months, despite the challenges.

The commitment and creativity showed by our communities to tackle this pandemic head on and help people in need has been life affirming.

We want to continue to build on the strong partnerships we have made during this pandemic and harness the enthusiasm of local people to help Torbay thrive.

One of the ways people have been doing this is through getting involved in local environmental projects.

It’s Plastic Free July, which aims to reduce plastic pollution by encouraging us all to stop using single-use plastics.

Lots of businesses across Torbay are doing their bit to support this and be more environmentally friendly.

There are many take-away premises that are finding alternative containers to serve food and drink in, and I saw this first hand during a recent trip to Broadsands where the newly opened Venus Café were using compostable materials for their coffee mugs.

This Sunday, there is a litter pick to remove disturbing amounts of litter left by an irresponsible few at Hopes Nose.

If you can spare a couple of hours this Sunday, please come along with a pair of stout boots and garden gloves to help out.

We are meeting at 10am at the top of the footpath to Hopes Nose on Ilsham Marine Drive.

Litter picks are also a great way for people who are helping rid our beaches and green spaces of plastic waste.

We have also had a very successful Great British Spring Clean with local communities.

In total, 135 people across the Bay took part in 13 litter pick or beach clean events, supported by the council and SWISCo.

They collected 35 black sacks, one dumpy bag and a plastic dinghy full of litter and recycling.

Any local groups can organise a litter pick or beach clean and will be loaned litter picking equipment by SWISCo, who will also collect rubbish bags at the end of the event.

They just need a bit of notice first.

You can find out more at www.torbay.gov.uk/openspaces