Monday 17 December 2018

Eleanor stirs up a wave of plastic on England's beaches

Plastic on the beach via the Twitter page of Newquay Beachcombing
Plastic on the beach via the Twitter page of Newquay Beachcombing

Helena Horton

Beachcombers and environmental activists have been shocked by the scale of ­plastic waste uncovered in the ­aftermath of Storm Eleanor.

The Cornish coast in the south-west of England was choked by waste, with pictures showing rockpools full of plastic and beaches fringed by containers and straws.

It appeared the storm had whipped up all the plastic waste in the area and dumped it on the county's picturesque beaches.

One volunteer, James Dixon, said he had picked up 478 pieces of plastic in one hour, and that the waste was seen all along the Bude beaches.

The Newquay Beachcombing Twitter page videoed a walk down a Cornish beach, showing that the shore was fringed by plastic waste all the way along.

It also showed a rockpool full of small pieces of plastic, instead of the sea creatures that are usually found.

The storm had brought with it a "tidal wave of waste", according to Martin Dorey, of campaign group #2minutebeachclean. He said that Crooklets beach at Bude had been "as bad as I have seen it" until it was cleared up by local volunteers.

During a storm, the unseen plastics lying on the seabed are stirred up and then deposited onto the shore, demonstrating the waste that is out of sight in the seas.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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