27,000 Pink Plastic Detergent Bottles Wash Up on UK Beach
Many plastic bottles are washing up on Poldhu Beach in Cornwall, UK this week, making the waves literally pink.
It appears that a whopping 27,000 of these bright pink bottles—believed to be Vanish brand detergent—have washed ashore, prompting wildlife warnings in the area due to the potentially toxic contents of the bottles, according to UK-based ocean advocacy group Surfers Against Sewage.
White crests of waves turned pink with #plasticbottles yesterday. #marinedebris @Seasaver @mcsuk https://t.co/KPOEigQodR— Newquay Beachcombing (@Newquay Beachcombing)1451985558.0
Let's get started on making these 27,000 pink plastic bottles 'Vanish' from or beaches. Join us… https://t.co/3Tm8WArSqu— SurfersAgainstSewage (@SurfersAgainstSewage)1452006688.0
MailOnline reported that the bright pink bottles have been "strewn across bubbly sand as far as the eye can see" and even more bottles are expected to wash up in the coming days, the National Trust (who owns the beach) said.
Many of the bottles are full but some have leaked, a Cornwall council spokeswoman said. As you can see in the photos, the soapy content in the bottles have coated the shoreline with foam.
Conservationists told the BBC that nearby coves including Gunwalloe, Polurrian, Church Cove and Marazion have also been affected.
@WestBriton in the pink but not as we want. Bottles everywhere. Beach clean Friday 8th 10:00. All hands to the pump https://t.co/GdXcKaJtOM— Poldhu Beach Watcher (@Poldhu Beach Watcher)1451903861.0
Although many people volunteered to pick up the plastic litter, they have also been warned to stay away.
"In the meantime the public are advised to keep children and dogs at a safe distance from the bottles should any more be washed up," a Cornwall council spokeswoman said. "No attempt should be made to recover the bottles."
In a blog post, Surfers Against Sewage warned about the harmful contents of the bottles:
"WARNING: These bottles are thought to contain hazardous and toxic chemicals, only handle with extreme care or report bottles to Cornwall Council and SAS to be removed by experts. Please remember, the contents are most likely toxic and if you decide to remove them, please take precautions (wearing gloves and store in an appropriate container)."
Chemical Content Reg. 648/2004/EC; of Vanish Liquid Bottles likely what's on Cornish Beaches.https://t.co/JfcfOHxuHN https://t.co/DsgeReRtrL— Peter Wright (@Peter Wright)1451995531.0
The area is currently being monitored by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Natural England. A wildlife warning has been issued for the area as the contents of the soap could be harmful to natural life, MailOnline reported.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust told the BBC it was "highly concerned" about the impact on "sensitive marine life."
"The main worry is all that detergent going into our beautiful marine environment, but thankfully most are full," Justin Whitehouse, from the National Trust, told the BBC.
Surfers Against Sewage said in a blog post that the bottles originated from a shipping vessel, which reportedly lost "a number of containers" near Land's End in May last year.
The group adds that recent winter storms have purportedly caused the bottles to redistribute around the area:
"Our friends at Lizard National Trust were the first to spot these bottles on their beaches and believe they are from the container ship, DS Blue Ocean, that lost a number of containers overboard near Lands End in May 2015. 27 tonnes of Vanish detergent were in one of these containers. These containers will have been lying on the sea floor since May, disturbed and reanimated by the recent winter storms that are now distributing them onto ever beach, cove and rock pool the tides, winds and swell can reach."
Origin of the influx of recent Pink Vanish Containers washed up on Cornish Beaches. DS BLUE OCEAN https://t.co/ZBswpwBYdB— Peter Wright (@Peter Wright)1452002276.0
Thousands of #vanish plastic bottles washed up on The Lizard. @sascampaigns https://t.co/De3CnuteKv— SurfGirl Mag (@SurfGirl Mag)1451925119.0
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said (via the BBC) that "while it is fact that the MV Blue Ocean lost a container containing bottles of 'Vanish,' there is no currently available evidence that the bottles washed up on the Cornish coast are from this container; all evidence is currently circumstantial."
A Vanish spokesman told MailOnline they are unsure if the bottles are theirs, but that it "looks that way."
"We're working closely to get samples back. It's a concern and we're working with the authorities while we investigate if they're our bottles," he added.
Photo credit: Surfers Against Sewage
Cleanup efforts are underway. Watch this video from The Guardian for more:
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By Gwen Ranniger
In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.
1. Fragrance – Avoid It<p>One of the fastest ways to narrow down your product options is immediately eliminating any product that promotes a fragrance, or parfum. That scent of "fresh breeze" or lemon might initially smell good, but the fragrance does not last. What does last? The concoction of various undisclosed and unregulated chemicals that created that fragrance.</p><p>Many fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health risks including reproductive problems and cancer.</p>
2. With Bleach? Do Without<p>Going scent-free should have narrowed down your options substantially – now, check the front of the remaining packaging. Any that include ammonia or chlorine bleach ought to go, as these substances are irritating and corrosive to your body. While bleach is commonly known as a powerful disinfectant, there are safer alternatives that you can use in your home, such as sodium borate or hydrogen peroxide.</p><p>While you're at it, check if there are any warnings on the label – "flammable," "use in ventilated area," etc. – if the product is hazardous, that's a red flag and should be avoided.</p>
3. Check the Back Label<p>Flip to the back of the remaining contenders and check out that ingredient list. Less is more, here. Opt for a shorter ingredient list with words you recognize and/or can pronounce.</p><p>You may notice many products do not have ingredient lists – while this doesn't necessarily mean they contain toxic ingredients, transparency is key. Feel free to look up a list online, or stick to products that are open about their ingredients.</p>
4. Ingredients to Avoid<p>We already mentioned that cleaners containing fragrance or parfum, and bleach or ammonia should be avoided, but there are other ingredients to look out for as well.</p><ul><li>Quaternary ammonium "quats" – lung irritants that contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. Also linger on surfaces long after they've been cleaned.</li><li>Parabens – Known hormone disruptor; can contribute to ailments such as cancer</li><li>Triclosan – triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals are registered with the EPA as pesticides. Triclosan is a known hormone disruptor and can also impact your immune system.</li><li>Formaldehyde – Causes irritation of eyes, nose, and throat; studies suggest formaldehyde exposure is linked with certain varieties of cancer. Can be found in products or become a byproduct of chemical reactions in the air.</li></ul>
Cleaning Products and Toxics: The Bottom Line<p>Do your research. There are many cleaning products available, but taking these steps will drastically reduce your options and help keep your home toxic-free. Protecting your home from bacteria and viruses is important, but make sure you do so in a way that doesn't introduce other health risks into the home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank">Environmental Health News</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649054624#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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