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Mega effort removes marine Mega Plastic from Flintshire’s/North East Wales Coast

Published: 06/10/2023

Coastal Rangers from Flintshire County Council teamed up with Vimto’s corporate volunteers to clear one of the biggest pieces of plastic from Talacre beach.

Dubbed “The Mega Plastic”, the giant 6m x1m inch thick plastic pipe of origins unknown has sat like a giant beached whale on the protected site for over 30yrs. Because of tidal conditions and difficulties getting machinery to site it has frustrated conservationists and rangers for decades.

During this time, 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. 

Enough was enough and when Vimto asked Flintshire for a corporate day to give something back. The perfect opportunity arose for coastal rangers to tackle the blot on the beachscape.

Fifteen hardy volunteers and rangers firstly cleared the gravels from inside the pipe in muddy conditions. They then cut off a heavy metal collar weighing the pipe down, attached ropes and dragged the pipe over 300m up the shingle beach to awaiting coastal ranger trucks and trailers.

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.