Nappies still washing up on North Devon beaches after shipping container spill

  • Report by Bob Cruwys

Volunteer beach cleaners in North Devon say plastic waste from a container ship spill is still washing up on our shores with every tide. 

Packets of nappies were strewn along the coast when one of the containers split open and hit the beach last week.

Now the waste is now being broken up by rough waves, making it even more difficult to clean up.

When the container first came ashore last week, packs were spread right down the beach at Bucks Mill but day after day since then they've been washing ashore over a much wider area.

Last week a container washed ashore near Hartland Point in North Devon. Credit: Sean McGuinness

Beach cleaners along the coast at Croyde have been hard at work collecting bags of shredded material which comes in on every tide. 

Beach ranger Holly Robertson says the rough sea is tearing the waste up and spreading it.

Teams of volunteers have been helping with the clean-up, arriving every day to collect scraps of plastic from the rocks.

Waste washed up after nappies spilt from shipping container. Credit: ITV West Country

This waste is simply adding to the plastic already being regularly cleared from our beaches.

Environmental campaigner Anne-Marie Eveleigh is concerned that it could continue washing onto shore for months.

Volunteers are clearing the waste from the beaches. Credit: ITV West Country

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says shipping containers 'were lost from a container ship on 20 October'.

It says that, of the 11 which were initially reported, six were empty and five contained non-hazardous cargo.  It believes that some may have sunk as not all have been seen during boat and aircraft searches.