Charlestown, Limekilns, and Pattiesmuir (CLP) Nature Conservation Group have raised concerns about sewage waste following a beach clean-up on Sunday (March 3).

Seven beaches in Charlestown and Limekilns were cleaned up as part of the Fife Communities Climate Action’s Network’s, Fife Climate Festival.

In total, 52 volunteers took part, and they collected 28 bags of rubbish as well as some larger items. The group also gathered data on the items they collected for the Marine Conservation Society.

The volunteers found a lot of sewage-related items on the clean-up.

Jo McFarlane, who is part of CLP Nature Conservation Group and runs Wild Planet Explorers, said: “We are used to seeing sewage related items washing up on our beaches here, but this particular clean is the worst we have seen it for a long time, and we have reported it to SEPA.

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Dunfermline Press: In total, 52 volunteers took part.In total, 52 volunteers took part. (Image: CLP Nature Conservaion Group)

“We picked up hundreds of sanitary towels and tampon applicators.”

The group found loads of toilet wipes, as well as period products during the clean-up. These items should always go into the bin, but sometimes with toilet wipes people flush them down the toilet because they are labelled as biodegradable or flushable.

The group would like the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to be monitored so it is possible to know how often this type of waste is coming into the Firth of Forth and when it is coming in.

Jo added: “We want a ban on plastics in wipes, as these wipes are carried on in the eco-system because there’s plastic in them. It’s asking everyone, do not put anything down the toilet except pee, poo, and paper. Do not flush anything except pee, poo, and paper.”

Dunfermline Press: 28 bags of rubbish were collected.28 bags of rubbish were collected. (Image: CLP Nature Conservation Group)

Any waste can have a negative impact on the local wildlife, such as seals and marine birds, but it also means that people trying to enjoy Fife’s beaches are near these items.

“People play on the beach, and sometimes the children don’t even know they are playing amongst ex-toilet and sanitary wipes.” Jo commented.

If you would like to stay up to date with the group and any future litter picks, you can contact them on to be added to a list for updates; they can also be contacted on their Facebook page, CLP Nature Conservation Group.

Fife Street Champions also do lots of litter picks and beach cleans across Fife.