Balnakeil pollution report 18-04-2020 and ranger service

We have been trying to follow the UK government advice with the adaptation to the current pandemic. Our shop first closed than we could have lone outdoor workers (aka our ranger) than we could work on our own. Of course this has greatly affected our data acquisition. So there are some disparities in the measurements. However the plastic pollution rate is still high, much higher than it was the former years, well above 3kg/day. Because of these disruptions, we believe that some has been buried unfortunately and that we won’t recover it anytime soon.

The last bad news is that we can’t generate any income this summer because we don’t think we will have any tourist. Without this we cannot generate a salary for our ranger. We sadly had to take the decision to let him go. The beach will be cleaned on a volunteer basis by one of the director (Julien) as much as possible. It is likely that it will affect the quality of the bay environment and the data we recover for research but there isn’t anything we can do about it. It is most likely that we won’t generate enough income for the ranger service before the season of 2021. We have applied to many grants and sponsorships but we have been unsuccessful so far.

Here some of the observations we made recently. The beach receded quite drastically during the last spring tides and the waves went eroding the beach profile exposing old buried plastics, up to 1.5m deep. This is the Plasticene, this layer of plastic which started accumulating since the 1950s. It will probably never degrade until it is really deeply buried in the Earth’s crust.

We also found some old plastic from the 90s, the usual burnt plastics and some yogurt pot from Canada that caught a ride to Scotland in the currents.