Why these shocking pictures of Brighton beach have gone viral

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Susan Devaney
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Brighton beach was covered in litter after Pride this weekend, and people are not OK about it. 

It happened at Bournemouth beach, it happened at Battersea Park, and now it’s happened at Brighton beach. We’re talking about people leaving litter behind.

Over the weekend, Brighton Pride – Britain’s biggest celebration of the LGBTQ community – took place in the seaside town of Brighton. Rainbow-coloured banners were flown, glitter was thrown and songs were sung – even Britney Spears took to the stage in all her glory.

But this year’s joyous celebration (themed: colour my world) has been tainted by images being shared across social media of the mess let behind from the weekend. 

“Beaches are left strewn with glass bottles, plastic bags and litter following Brighton Pride,” one user wrote on Twitter. 

“Y’know what, Brighton Pride is a sick event and I had the time of my life but the litter left behind is actually disgusting. Gotta respect the planet as well as the people,” another user wrote. 

“Eurgh, there’s so much litter around Brighton still. You can be proud of your sexualities, your gender/non-gender, be an ally and be proud of looking after the environment too. They’re not mutually exclusive you know,” another user posted. 

Following complaints on social media, Brighton Hove Council said: “The Pride Brighton clean-up is well underway. Many areas are now clear.

“The high volume of people in the city centre until very late slowed initial cleaning. It’s not possible to clear litter effectively in a crowd.”

It urged people to help by “binning litter or taking it home.”

In 2018, talk of reducing our plastic use and helping to protect our planet from environmental damage has been a hot topic of conversation. After the airing of Blue Planet 2, our focus turned toward the world’s oceans (and beaches). 

“It’s always heartbreaking to see a beach left in such a terrible state - particularly after such a positive event,” James Harvey, campaigns officer for Surfers Against Sewage, tells “Once in the ocean, plastics break down into thousands of pieces which can wreak havoc on ecosystems.”

But Brighton Pride is not the only event of this year to be called out for environmental damage. After the tremendous summer we’ve been experiencing, many parks have been left in a worse off state from BBQ use and litter. In general, people have been leaving behind a trail of mess.

The simplest solution? Take your litter home.

“It will take a massive team effort to stop plastic pollution,” says Harvey. “If you take food and drink to the beach, please bin your rubbish or take it home for recycling. Hopefully the more people that see these scenes, the more they will be motivated to protect our beautiful coastlines.”

If you want to do more to help then you can join SAS on 19 August at Brighton beach as UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh swims the English Channel to highlight the issues affecting our oceans.

You can also read about the best ways to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic here.

Images: Getty / Twitter