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.

Al Short enters the water to collect the bottles

Al Short enters the water to collect the bottles


Dave and Shaun help collect a 'sting' of bottles

Dave and Shaun help collect a ‘string’ of bottles

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!!

Some of the volunteers who lent a hand in the clean up

Some of the volunteers who lent a hand in the clean up

The first container is fulled with pink bottles

The second container starts to get filled

The second container starts to get filled

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.





  • Well done Andy and all. If you are doing it next week please let us know. I had pre arrangements for today so couldn’t make it – but can next weekend I’d needed. Councillor Bev Plunkett

  • Mick

    Just wondering why people feel the need to say they’re a Cllr, it’s obvious you know who they are seeing as you’re on the council as well. Good clear up job anyway.

  • Gilly Zella Martin

    I am just wondering why some individuals are rude or unkind about the posts of others!

    Well done to all those involved in the clean up. I do hope no harm has already been done to the marine life. It was only a few weeks ago I saw 12 dolphins one Sunday, swimming not very far out from the beach.

  • Pingback: Official line for collecting Pink Bottles and the threat of being fined. – Cllr Andrew Wallis

  • Mick

    Oh come on, why does anyone need to sign their post Councillor when Cllr Wallis obviously knows Bev Plunket is a Cllr!!!! You’re naive if you think being polite or kind to people is the best way to go about things. you’ll just get walked all over. They did do a good job clearing up, the ones that actually turned up but Bev Plunkett wasn’t one of them. Oh sorry, Cllr Bev Plunkett.

  • Gilly Zella Martin

    I am not naive, I just clearly have a different outlook on life than you. I do not “get walked all over” I am not subservient. I just think it unnecessary to pick fault in someone else’s comment purely because they signed themselves as a councillor. At least they identified themselves fully, something (when leaving your criticisms), you choose not to! Perhaps you could just appreciate the good work people did in clearing the bottles and the offer of future help from others.

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