Out, Damned Spot!

Thousands of bright pink detergent bottles are washing up on British beaches.

January 06, 2016

Beaches in Cornwall, on the southwestern tip of England, are looking not-so-pretty in pink after thousands of plastic fuschia bottles began washing ashore on Sunday.

Back in May a shipping container full of Vanish, a brand of stain remover, lived up to its name when it disappeared from the cargo ship MV Ocean Blue. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says it can’t confirm that the beached bottles are one and the same…but the evidence is awfully compelling.

Fortunately, most of the bottles are sealed—but some are leaking and foaming, posing a threat to wildlife. The Cornwall Council is warning that children and pets should steer clear while volunteers from the National Trust, a conservation organization, work to remove this pink, soapy stain from the coastline.

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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