THOUSANDS of empty plastic containers, washed up near Blue Flag beaches in east Cork, are thought to have come from one of seven containers lost at sea last month.
Almost 4km of strand east of Ballycotton were littered yesterday with the empty butter containers, both domestic and industrial sizes.
The bulk of the pollution came ashore at Ardnahinch, Shanagarry “just a stone’s throw” from Garryvoe, one of Cork County Council’s most awarded Blue Flag beaches, in recognition of clean water and litter-free sand.
Ardnahinch was “a mess”, according to one Garryvoe local, Joan O’Connell.
“Last week, hundreds of disposable nappies for adults were washed up. Some of those were taken out on the tide again, but many more are left there, tangled in the seaweed on the beach,” she said.
“This is the worst pollution I’ve ever seen, there’s plastic containers everywhere.
“It’s an awful mess,” she said.
No attempt has been made to remove the plastic from two miles of coastline.
The empty Kerrymaid, Butterlicious and Buttersoft containers, and last week’s disposable nappies, may have come from a coaster which last month lost seven containers while en route to Cork.
Another container contained sodium bromate, a hazardous chemical used in dyeing.
The 40-foot containers are thought to have sunk in an area seven miles south east of Mine Head in Waterford.
Initial concerns about the chemical coming ashore have abated as the substance, which is soluble in water, is thought to have dissolved.
Bird food, fire logs and medical equipment was also lost in the containers.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved