Quantcast

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.

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.

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)."

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.

Read page 1

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."

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.

"Let's get started on making these 27,000 pink plastic bottles 'Vanish' from or beaches."
Photo credit: Surfers Against Sewage

Cleanup efforts are underway. Watch this video from The Guardian for more:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

Teflon’s Toxic Legacy: DuPont Knew for Decades It Was Contaminating Water Supplies

How One Man Plans to Make Billions Selling Water From Mojave Desert to Drought-Stricken California

Victory: Obama Signs Bill Banning Plastic Microbeads

Dead Humpback Calf Found Entangled in Illegal Gillnet

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Supply boats beside Aberdeen Wind Farm on Aug. 4, 2018. Rab / CC BY 2.0

President Donald Trump doesn't like wind turbines.

In April, he claimed they caused cancer, and he sued to stop an offshore wind farm that was scheduled to go up near land he had purchased for a golf course in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. He lost that fight, and now the Trump Organization has agreed to pay the Scottish government $290,000 to cover its legal fees, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Read More Show Less