Posted: Fri 6th Oct 2023

Flintshire Rangers and Vimto volunteers team up to clear “The Mega Plastic” menace on Talacre beach

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 6th, 2023

In a significant environmental cleanup effort, Coastal Rangers from Flintshire County Council joined forces with corporate volunteers from soft drink manufacturer Vimto to remove one of the largest pieces of plastic debris from Talacre beach.

Known as “The Mega Plastic”, this enormous 6m x 1m, inch-thick plastic pipe has been a longstanding fixture on the protected site for over three decades.

Its origins remain a mystery. Due to challenging tidal conditions and the logistical difficulties of bringing machinery to the location, the pipe has remained a persistent challenge for conservationists and rangers.

Although sun-bleached, it sits largely unchanged even after all this time. The pipe has been chipped away adding microplastics to the beautiful Dee Estuary Coastline.

The opportunity for its removal presented itself when Vimto approached Flintshire for a corporate day to contribute positively to the environment.

Fifteen dedicated volunteers and rangers took on the mammoth task. After clearing gravels from inside the pipe, they removed a heavy metal collar, attached ropes, and painstakingly dragged the pipe over 300m up the shingle beach. Coastal ranger trucks and trailers awaited to transport the debris.

Supported by Natural Resources Wales who own this section of coastline, the project has been deemed a great success and an investment into the future care of this particularly special bit of Welsh Coastline.

Matt Nichols Commercial Director of Vimto International said: “We had a great day with the rangers firstly doing some scrub control in the dunes then tackling this plastic monster in the afternoon.”

“It wasn’t easy but the team pulled together and got the job done. We would like to thank Flintshire’s team, NRW, ENi and everyone else that helped get this pipe off the beach and into the recycling world from our natural environment.”

Councillor Dave Healey, Cabinet member for Climate change and Economy said: “This is a great result for our coastal environment and shows our dedication as a local authority to The Dee Estuary, the Welsh Coast and our tourism industry.”

“Our Streetscene teams clear Talacre beach throughout the summer season however this ‘Mega Plastic’ didn’t quite fit in a large bin bag.”

“Probably the first big project of our Flintshire Coast Park project, we will see more of this kind of landscape work over the coming years along the Wales Coast Path. Well done everyone.”

The pipe will be transported back to The Ranger Base at Wepre Park and either utilised for access projects or recycled into Flintshire’s waste management systems.

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