The state of our coastlines

This is a composite of 2 survey images taken by one of our crews recently. It isn't a landfill site or an underdeveloped part of the world - its an isolated beach somewhere in Scotland. Most of what you see here is made up of fish box and plastic barrel sized articles, the total probably weighing several tonnes. The full scale image shows the extent of the pollution in all its detailed glory. A really depressing aspect is that the crew came back with a camera full of such images - covering dozens of similar sites.

This lot had been ejected out of the sea by wind and waves when the picture was taken but if there is a particularly high tide or an offshore gale, much of it may soon be back in. There it will continue to be churned and broken up, eventually into tiny fragments whereupon it will be impossible to recover the material which will probably enter the ecosystem for good. We must remove this plastic junk from our coasts. Many of these sites require specialist techniques to gain access and for removal of debris.