'Almost new' 47-year-old plastic bottle washes up on Somerset beach

Natalie Cornish
Photo credit: Burnham Coastguard - Facebook

From Country Living

A plastic washing-up bottle which dates back to at least 1971 has washed up on a beach in Somerset.

Burnham Coastguard shared pictures of the "almost new" Fairy washing-up liquid bottle on their Facebook page, which was amongst 400 tonnes of waste to litter Brean Beach last week following a series of high tides.

"This bottle still looks almost new – it's shocking how long rubbish can survive," the Coastguard wrote.

They were able to date the bottle by the label. Marked 4d off, it would have been manufactured before pounds, shillings and pence were outlawed under British decimalisation in 1971.

The Coastguard also uploaded a photo of the sand strewn with "wood, seaweed and other marine debris but also lots of man-made items".

"The beach warden said he had picked up lots of different items to dispose of on his travels including shoes and plastics," they wrote.

Coastguard station officer, Dave Welland told the BBC he was shocked by what he saw on the routine call-out.

"I've been part of the coastguard for years but I can't remember seeing that amount of rubbish on the beach before. It was mental," he said.

The coastguard has urged people to use bins, be mindful of the rubbish they flush down the toilet – especially the "worst offender" cotton buds – and to join regular beach clean-ups in their area.

"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," they added.

Every minute one rubbish truck worth of plastic waste is dumped in our oceans. That's eight million tonnes of plastic every year, according to Earth Day.

Just last week viewers were left in tears after BBC1's Drowning in Plastic showed footage of marine biologists removing plastic from the stomachs of bird chicks in Australia.

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