Coastal Warriors Mid North Coast are calling on the community to be respectful of the environment after reporting an increased amount of litter being left near the beaches.
Due to restrictions under COVID-19 pandemic the group has been unable to hold its regular monthly clean-ups for the past four months. The clean up event in August has also been cancelled.
"We've got a pretty wide volunteer base, anywhere between 50 and 120 might come depending on the month, time and location where we're cleaning up," the group's president Meegan Stephens said.
On July 29 Mrs Stephens and her daughter Grace picked up a handful of rubbish in about three minutes over 25 metres at Oxley Beach.
"Once your eyes are open you can't really stop seeing it," Mrs Stephens said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in a lot of people resorting to using single use items.
"I think a lot of the spotlight has been taken off waste and climate due to the pandemic," Mrs Stephens said.
Some cafes in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region went back to using disposable cups, rather than accepting reusable ones from community members.
This was a way to protect their staff from the possible spread of the virus.
In a time where restrictions are easing, Mrs Stephens said people now need to be willing to get back to doing what's best for the environment.
"It was really disappointing to see the movement back to single use because we'd made so much headway out of that, by pushing reusable items," she said.
"Now we're back to square one."
Mrs Stephens said the waste associated with tackling COVID-19 has been detrimental to the environment.
"It's overwhelming," she said.
The Coastal Warriors are encouraging people to take three for the sea whenever they are out and about.
Mrs Stephens said individuals from the group are still being very proactive for the cause but they are missing their strong volunteer base, which they worked hard to build over the past three years.
Members of the Coastal Warriors are available to present small group talks at schools and workplaces.
The group can be contacted via the Coastal Warriors - Mid North Coast Facebook page.