Porthleven’s residents help clear up near 1000 pink bottles washed ashore in the harbour
The fallout from the loss of a shipping container carrying over 18,000 bottles of Vanish detergent still blights the Cornish coast with thousands of the pink bottles still being washed ashore. The bottles have mainly washed up on National Trust owned beaches in the Lizard, although some have washed up on Council owned or managed beaches, and across other parts of Cornwall.
The Cornwall Council have arranged for Cory Environmental to remove any bottles which wash up on Council beaches. Furthermore, the Council has arranged for containers to be provided on privately owned beaches to enable the bottles to be removed safely. Most of the bottles have come ashore intact, with around 20% of them split. It is estimated that half of the 18,000 pink bottles have been recovered so far.
Over the last few days a large number of these pink bottles have started to come ashore in and round Porthleven. So, on Saturday a pink bottle clean up was organised after the MCA and Cornwall Council delivered five containers to collect the bottles.
A call-to-arms was made via Facebook which resulted in around 30 residents turning up to aid in the clean up. Most of the bottles were in the outer harbour, which made collecting them a little trickier.
This is did not stop the volunteers who invented a make-shift lifting buckets using recycling bags and a large bag supplied by the local building merchant, The Build Centre which enabled the volunteers to get the bottles from the water and rocks to the top of the harbour walls. Local surfers and kayaks lent a hand by entered the water to collect the bottles
The building merchant also supplied one of its fork-lifts to lift and shift the large containers full of pink bottles. And Porthleven’s Coastguard team were on hand to provide safety cover. Porthleven’s Town Clerk was there helping with the clean-up.
The clean up took a few hours and in that time the volunteers collected an estimated 1000 pink bottles. Many of those bottles were now empty, or leaking. I guess the longer these bottles are in the water there is more chance of them bursting.
If more bottles are washed ashore in Porthleven, it is planned to hold another clean up event next weekend subject to the weather, tides and number of bottles washed ashore.
The containers for collecting the bottles are placed on the harbour slip. If anyone does see a pink bottle, please pick it/them up and place in the containers. The more we can remove from the sea, the better it will be for the habitat.
A huge thank you goes to all those who were able to answered my call-to-arm by turning up in some pretty horrible weather to lend a hand. Well done and thank you!!
If people have any sightings of bottles they should be reported to the Council on 0300 1234 222 . This number is monitored out of hours and so arrangements can be made for bottles to be collected.