Since the pink bottles started to wash ashore around Porthleven and the Lizard, there has been media about the finer legal points surrounding collecting ‘salvage’ from the beach. The headline is to do with the threat of fines of up to £2.5k for picking up these pink blighters. Technically this true, but there is a reality between helping and salvaging.
The official line can be found HERE. However, as one of the organisers of the recent pink bottle clear up in Porthleven, I did not want to be, or put those residents who volunteered to help at risk from a fine. My understanding of the legislation is we were safe from a fine. But to make sure I contacted the office of the Receiver of Wreck, and they have given me the official line.
If members of the public are picking these bottles up and handing them to the Nation Trust, Council or putting them in to one of the skips provided there is no need to complete a Report of Wreck and Salvage Form. It is considered that the individual is working on behalf of the Council/Nation Trust. The National Trust and Cornwall Council will fill in a form to give idea of the total number – or total weight – of the bottles.
However, if members of the public are removing these bottles from the beach and in to their own vehicles, or doing anything with them that means they are not handed over to the Council/Nation Trust, then they would be performing their own salvage operation. If people are insistent on doing this then they will need to complete a ‘Report of Wreck and Salvage Form’ and return it to the Receiver of Wrecks within 28 days.
So if you collect any place them in the containers or contact the Council highlighting there are a number of pink bottles in a certain location.
I hope this clear up any confusion?