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Sandsend Sea Defences 'Releasing Plastics Into Sea'

sandsend sea defences

12:44pm 13th March 2018

Plastic filaments are being broken down and washed into the sea from Sea Defences at Sandsend near Whitby. 

The discovery was made by member for Whitby Naturalists Graham Oliver. The defences were completed in August 2016 at a cost of £9.3 million. 

The 5mm filaments were built into the concrete structure to strengthen it but with the recent bad weather and strong winds, it's caused erosion to the sea wall, exposing the plastics.

Graham says these filaments have always been an issue because after the construction was completed, hundreds of them were collected at a beach clean there. 

In October 2017, the Sea Defence was recognised in the annual Yorkshire Structural Awards.

Graham said:

"The dilemma is I'm not sure what, if any, remedial action can be taken. Therefore, for me, the only sensible thing is to suggest is that this method of construction is condemned from future use anywhere near our seas, waterways or oceans. 

After construction, North Yorkshire County Council said the large number of filaments on the beach had been caused by an accident during building and that very few would come out due to wear and tear. 

That's clearly not the case. There are hundreds of these things being released and will continue to be released for the life of the sea defences."

North Yorkshire County Council have been approached for comment. 


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