By James Somper
Conservationists were shocked to find a 30-year-old Coca Cola can from the 1988 Olympics in South Korea washed up on a Scottish beach.
Members of the Marine Conservation Society collected more than 400 items of rubbish during a clean of Carmond Beach in Edinburgh last week [April 6].
To the volunteers’ disbelief, they came across the fizzy drink can promoting the Seoul Olympic Games half buried in the sand – and were horrified by its implications for the health of our oceans.
MCS Scotland conservation officer Catherine Gemmell said: “This really unusual find shows that when it comes to litter, there is no such thing as throwing things away.
“We need to ensure that anything we are using today is not being picked up by volunteers in 30 or more years’ time.
“It was a shocking eye opener for our volunteers.”
The 31 eco-activists, who braved the rain and wind to take part, picked up rubbish weighing over 9kg [1st 4lbs] from a 330 foot stretch of the beach as part of a 100 metre survey.
Over half of the litter was made of plastic, whilst 33 percent of the rubbish were items that had been incorrectly flushed down the toilet – known as sewage related debris (SRD) – with more than 100 wet wipes picked up.
After the survey was completed volunteers picked up a further 86kg [13st 5lbs] of rubbish from the beach, with many volunteers shocked at the number of wet wipes that were found entangled in the seaweed.
Catherine said: “This can is the very reason that we’re calling on the Scottish Government to implement an ‘all in’ Deposit Return Scheme for drinks bottles and cans.
Catherine said: “Our data, collected over the last 25 years, has clearly made the case for this and we look forward to hearing more from the Scottish Government soon.”