LIKE many residents I have been shocked at the volume of litter left across our beaches after the gloriously sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

But I have been delighted by the number of residents who have taken it upon themselves to help clear up others’ mess and I would like to thank everyone who has helped with litter pick-ups in and around Barry.

I would also like to thank the council staff who are constantly clearing up the rubbish visitors leave.

However, I urge everyone to take responsibility for their waste and take their rubbish home with them.

Bins may become full on a busy Bank Holiday, but we can all take our rubbish home rather than expect others to pick it up for us.

This weekend, I took part in the “Great Plastics Pick Up”, arranging an event in Ogmore by Sea with a number of local volunteers.

I was shocked at how much litter we picked up in such a small area along the banks of the river.

Like so many I was touched by Sir David Attenborough’s coverage in Blue Planet II at the end of last year detailing the damage our plastic waste is doing to our oceans.

More than twelve million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans each year putting marine wildlife under threat. Up to 80 per cent of this is estimated to have been originally lost or discarded on land before washing out to sea.

Plastic bottles are a particular concern as only 57 per cent of those sold in the UK in 2016 were collected for recycling.

I am pleased that steps are now being taken to address the issue of plastics in our oceans and discussions are ongoing for a UK wide can and plastics deposit scheme.

In addition to the issues of large pieces of waste we collected, I was shocked by the number of plastic cotton buds that were stuck in the river bank at the weekend.

In England plans are underway to ban the sale of cotton buds, along with single use plastic straws and stirrers.

These items have been shown to have a significant impact on the environment when littered or discarded incorrectly after use.

I am campaigning hard to ensure the Welsh Government adopt the same measures and ban single use plastic cotton buds, straws and stirrers in Wales.

I hope we can all work together to Keep Barry Tidy!