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Volunteers tackle never-ending tide of plastic on Highland beach

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Durness-based Plastic@bay volunteers braved Saturday’s storms to carry out a beach clean at Balnakiel.

They recovered 62lb of microplastic, only days after gathering almost 900lb of larger plastic debris from the same beach.

The nine volunteers scoured the area for small bits of plastic and tiny ‘nurdles’ which come from spills of petrochemical plant or plastic manufacturers.

Plastic@bay’s founder Julien Moreau said: “We collected that amount in three hours. It might not look much, but it’s thousands of bits of toxic debris.”

The community interest company keeps records of marine pollution at Balnakeil.

Dr Moreau said: “In January, Storm Brendan brought in hundreds of kilos of plastic, coming in at more than 30lb per day.

“ With the exception of Storm Caroline in 2017, we have never recovered so much plastic coming ashore.

“Considering that plastic production still grows unrestricted, it is normal that pollution rates are rising in parallel.”

 

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