Thursday 18 April 2024
 5.6°C   SW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Environment / Thirty eight year old Pepsi bottle among Rachel’s latest beach finds

The Pepsi bottle at Quendale Beach dated 1982. Photos: Rachel Laurenson

A PEPSI bottle from 1982 and a diazepam rectal tube – just two items found recently by an intrepid local beach cleaner who logs her unusual discoveries online.

Rachel Laurenson is a keen follower of the #2minutebeachclean movement, which encourages people to take a few moments of their time to collect rubbish from beaches and share pictures of their haul online.

She first came across the initiative in 2014 and is today still raising awareness of the amount of rubbish that gets washed up on Shetland’s beaches, often from abroad.

Certainly one of Rachel’s more unusual finds…

In the last few weeks Laurenson came across a Pepsi bottle dated from 1982 on Quendale Beach – although due to its condition she reckons it may have been stuck in a sand dune.

Some other unusual finds includes a plastic device for inserting diazepam in the rear, a plastic goose thought to have been used as a decoy in shooting in Canada, and a show shoe.

Other discoveries have included a strip of tablets which are an Indonesian herbal remedy for cholesterol and ‘stamina’, Russian ink pots and shoes from Japan.

That is in addition to the more common finds, like items from American and Canadian fishing, or toothbrushes. Or even toilet brushes – “two on the Hillswick beach in one day”.

“It’s only probably in the last couple of years that I’ve started to think ‘what’s that’ and where’s that come from, taken a photo of it and Googled it,” Laurenson said. “Sometimes I keep the item itself, sometimes I don’t.

“I’m still just doing the two-minute clean – well, sometimes it can be a lot more than two minutes – but whenever we go for a walk or a wander, picking up and logging it just to keep raising awareness on that point.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

The issue of marine pollution and plastic waste has become a hugely topical subject in recent years, with a campaign for instance starting to locally to eradicate single-use plastics.

“These days I cannot go for a walk anywhere shore based and not find a plastic water bottle,” Laurenson added.

Rachel Laurenson.

“If everybody just eliminated that factor from their lives, essentially these things will stop. Especially in the summer, you do see barbecue rubbish that people can’t be bothered to take back home with them. But generally your snack foods, juice bottle, water bottle, crisp packet, biscuit wrapper – you’re always finding them, whether it be foreign or local, UK makes.”

Laurenson encouraged anyone out walking in Shetland – on a beach or otherwise – to do their bit by picking up any litter they come across.

“I’m generally walking two large dogs and I can still take a bagful home,” she said.

“The two minute idea has kind of expanded – it’s street litter, park litter – it’s in land as well. If we can stop it getting to the sea in the first place. Even if you’re out with your baby in a buggy or with a dog, whoever you see rubbish, just grab it and stick it in the next bin. I always make sure if got a bag in my pocket to fill as I go.”

Anyone wishing to take part in the two minute beach clean initiative is encouraged to share photos online with the hash tag #2minutebeachclean.

Laurenson also pointed to websites logging where people across the world find shotgun wads and mermaid’s purses.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.