The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
You Won’t Believe the Age of This Plastic Bottle Found on a UK Beach
When the Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team went to assist a man who fell ill while walking his dogs on a UK beach Oct. 3, they made a shocking discovery.
Rough tides had washed up a significant amount of debris onto the beach, including, of course, plastic.
"The beach warden said he had picked up lots of different items to dispose of on his travels including shoes and plastics," the coastguard team said in a Facebook post.
One of those items was a plastic bottle of Fairy detergent that its intact labeling revealed to be nearly 50 years old.
"This bottle has been floating around in our waters and still looks almost new," the coastguard wrote.
The bottle was obviously at least 47 years old because its label advertised it as "4D" or four pence off, meaning it was sold before the UK changed to decimal currency in 1971, CNN reported.
The Burnham Coastguard clarified in the comments that they could not be sure how long the bottle had actually been in the oceans, but it was still emblematic of a larger problem.
"It is a highlight of the plastic waste that is damaging our planet," they said.
At least eight million tons of plastic enter the world's oceans every year, and 60 to 90 percent of marine litter is made of plastic. An Ocean Conservancy report said that some plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to break down.
Government and industry groups in the UK have taken action to reduce plastic waste in the past year. The government announced plans to end the sale of single-use plastics like straws, drink stirrers and cotton swabs in April, the same month that more than 40 companies signed the UK Plastics Pact to phase out problematic plastics from packaging by 2025.
The Burnham Coastguard used the find as a call to action, urging people to properly dispose of trash and to avoid throwing non-flushable items like cotton buds in the toilet. They also urged locals to get involved with beach cleans organized by Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset and Rage Against Rubbish.
"Small changes by everyone can make a big difference to our beautiful planet and even to our very own stretch of coast, so let's make a difference together," the coastguard said.
- This Amazing Dress Is Made Out Of Plastic Bottles Discarded On ... ›
- Plastic Pollution - Facts and Figures • Surfers Against Sewage ›
- new head & shoulders bottle to be made with recycled beach plastic ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Low-Fat Diets Rich in Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Death, Study Finds
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.