Warning Over Pink Bottles Washed Up On Beach
People clearing thousands of bright pink bottles from a Cornish beach could face fines of thousands of pounds.
It is estimated over 4,500 of the neon containers of Vanish stain remover have washed up on Poldhu Beach on Lizard Peninsula since Monday.
They are among 18,720 which went missing from a container ship in May.
The National Trust, which owns the beach, has organised clean-ups but there are reports people have been putting the bottles in their cars and driving away with them.
The Coastguard has warned that anything salvaged needs to be declared within 28 days and failure to do so could result in a maximum fine of £2,500.
The Porthleven Coastguard Team said: “Members of the public are being asked to keep clear due to the potential of it being harmful.
“Anyone who has taken the items will need to complete a Report of Wreck and Salvage Form and return it within 28 days.”
Volunteers joined members of the Navy and National Trust to remove another 1,000 items from the beach on Friday morning, while a Coastguard spotter plane monitored the scene from above.
Ross Hocking, owner of the Poldhu Beach Cafe, was among those who helped and told Sky News the bottles were being found further up the coast.
“Every day we get a lot of marine waste but this is just so bright, it’s a constant battle and very sad,” he said.
People have been told to keep children and animals away from bottles, especially those which are foaming.
Justin Whitehouse from the National Trust said: “We urge people not to pick up any bottles without using protective gloves, keep animals away and avoid swimming or walking in the area until any risk from the detergent to human or animal health has been assessed.”
“We have submitted samples for independent analysis and are waiting for the results, as our immediate concern is any impact on the environment and wildlife.”
A statement from Reckitt Benckiser, producers of Vanish, said: “To date, 30-50% are recovered.
“We understand that many bottles remain intact, while others have inevitably been damaged due to storms and heavy seas.
“We can confirm that the Vanish formulation is readily soluble in water and is highly unlikely to cause major or lasting impact to wildlife or the environment.”