A decades-old plastic bottle has been found almost intact after being washed up on a UK beach, illustrating just how long plastic waste can survive in the world's oceans.
The bottle of dishwashing liquid is at least 47 years old, with its branding still clearly visible. It was picked up by a coast guard in Somerset, England, after high tides dumped debris onto the shore.
Business and industry sectors
Business, economy and trade
Chemical industry and chemicals
Company activities and management
Environment and natural resources
Lettering on the Fairy-brand bottle says it is reduced by 4d, or four pence, meaning it was sold before Britain changed to decimal currency in 1971.
Its discovery illustrates the "modern day scourge" of plastic pollution, the Burnham Coastguard Rescue Team said in a Facebook post.
"This bottle has been floating around in our waters and still looks almost new," it added.
Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose in the ocean, according to a study by non-profit group Ocean Conservancy, while a 2017 UK government report estimated that around 70% of the world's marine litter is made of plastic.
Plastics in the sea can entangle fish and birds, and damage marine ecosystems.
The coast guard urged visitors to beaches to dispose of their waste in trash cans and avoid flushing items like cotton swabs down toilets.
"Small changes by everyone can make a big difference to our beautiful planet and even to our very own stretch of coast, so let's make a difference together," it added.
Around 8 million tons of plastic enters the earth's waters each year, with plastics set to outweigh fish by 2050, the World Economic Forum warned in 2016.
- A decades-old plastic bottle washed up looking 'almost new' on a UK beach
- Thousands of dead starfish wash up on UK beaches
- Ocean plastic predicted to triple within a decade
- Lebanon's garbage crisis washes up on the beach
- Undocumented immigrants detained after boat washes ashore in Laguna Beach
- Oldest message in a bottle found on Australian beach
- UK hikes interest rates for second time in a decade
- UK proposes deposit-return program to tackle plastic pollution
- McDonald's to scrap plastic straws in UK and Ireland
- Beaches, bases, battles: The seven-decade fight for Okinawa