BILLBOARDS featuring a giant crab are the latest initiative by New Forest District Council to encourage people to take their litter home.
Visitors to Calshot, Milford and Barton will be reminded not to leave rubbish behind with a message from the crab
It warns potential litterbugs: “My eyes are out on stalks because I’m watching you and litter makes me crabby.”
Litter bag dispensers have also been installed in three of the villages’ car parks to ensure rubbish is not left at the coastal locations, where it can cause injury to wildlife as well as polluting the beauty spots.
With many more people holidaying in the UK this year, the coastline has been a popular choice to visit, but an increase in numbers has also meant the council has seen a sharp rise in litter.
As previously reported in the A&T, the level of litter locally was estimated by district council workers to have more than doubled since the coronavirus lockdown started in March.
The cash-strapped authority has spent more than £100,000 hiring nine additional team members and three vehicles to help it cope, with staff undertaking double or triple daily shifts.
The council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Alison Hoare, said: “There really is no excuse for leaving litter behind, but with this new approach we are making it easier for visitors to do the right thing. Everyone should collect a bag and take their litter home.”
She added: “We are monitoring coastal areas and will not hesitate to issue an £80 fine for those that flout the rules.”
Visitors are encouraged to take their picture with the billboard and post on social media using the hashtag #Crabby for the chance to win £100.