BBC News

Thousands of pink bottles wash up on Cornwall's beaches

Published
image copyrightPoldhu Beach Watcher
image captionThe bottles are sealed but witnesses say some have leaked

Thousands of bright pink plastic detergent bottles have washed up on beaches in Cornwall.

They started arriving at Poldhu Cove on the Lizard on Sunday, and National Trust volunteers have been clearing them away as they are said to pose a risk to wildlife.

The bottles are sealed, but witnesses say some have leaked.

The National Trust said it believed a container had gone overboard from a ship, during the stormy weather.

media captionThe brightly coloured bottles are not the first unusual items to have washed ashore on the UK coastline

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "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."

It is thought the vessel lost the container near Land's End in May.

The BBC has contacted Vanish, but the company is yet to comment.

Other nearby coves including Gunwalloe, Polurrian, Church Cove and Marazion have also been affected, conservationists said.

Keep children away

Cornwall Wildlife Trust said it was "highly concerned" about the impact on "sensitive marine life".

Justin Whitehouse, from the National Trust, said: "The main worry is all that detergent going into our beautiful marine environment, but thankfully most are full.

"We think it's a container that has gone overboard from a container ship, during stormy seas."

image captionCornwall Council said it would be monitoring beaches in the area for more bottles
image copyrightPoldhu Beach Cafe
image captionSince Sunday, National Trust volunteers have been clearing up the bottles

Cornwall Council said the authority and partners, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Natural England, would be monitoring beaches in the area.

It said: "The National Trust who own the beach at Poldhu have arranged for the bottles to be cleared 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.

"No attempt should be made to recover the bottles."

image captionChildren have been warned to stay away from the washed up bottles

Washed up on beaches

  • A large chunk of an American space rocket was found in the sea off the Isles of Scilly in November
  • In recent years, 100-year-old rubber-like blocks from Indonesia have been mysteriously washing up on beaches across the UK, including Cornwall
  • Hundreds of pieces of Lego have washed up on the beaches of Cornwall in recent years after a goods container fell off a ship in 1997.
  • In August, a hotelier on the Isles of Scilly was "amazed" to find a washed-up message in a bottle that travelled more than 4,000 miles (6,400km) from the Bahamas

Related Topics

  • Cornwall Council
  • Lizard
  • National Trust

More on this story

  • Isles of Scilly US space rocket dismantled for removal

  • Lego washing up on Cornwall beaches