A sweet wrapper from the 1970s was among some 1,800 items of litter collected during a beach clean at Westward Ho! on Saturday.
More than 70 volunteers took to the beach to take part in a Marine Conservation Society clean-up and survey operation, assisted by Plastic Free Torridge and Torridge District Council.
The beach was divided up into 12 ‘beach clean bubbles’ to make sure social distancing rules were observed, with each team given a 100-metre section of the beach to clean and survey.
Among the 1,800 items were flip-flops, shoe and a Peanut Treets wrapper from the 1970s.
After sorting hard plastics, fishing line and fishing net to be recycled, volunteers were left with five bin bags full of rubbish weighing 24kgs.
They also removed more than 20kg of rusty scrap metal from the beach, which will be recycled.
Torridge District Council deputy leader and local ward member for Westward Ho! Councillor Claire Hodson, said: “I want to thank and congratulate everyone that took part in this event which plays an important role in our fight against marine pollution.
“I would also like to thank the lead provided by the Marine Conservation Society and Andrew Cross from Plastic Free Torridge and of course our own ranger Rose Roberts for a great team effort.
“While it’s disappointing to find so much litter on the day, analysing and understanding the results is very important to bring about improvements and change.
“Perhaps it’s should also be a reminder to everyone to take their litter home with them and dispose of it responsibly – I think such a beautiful award winning beach such as Westward Ho! deserves that.”