Littered Scalby Beck sparks fears of micro plastics

Graham Basil has found bags of little plastic balls washed up along the sea cut near Scalby Mills.  181704a
Graham Basil has found bags of little plastic balls washed up along the sea cut near Scalby Mills. 181704a

Tiny polystyrene ‘chips’ have littered Scalby Beck and its adjoining beaches after bags filled with the substance have polluted the area.

Graham Basil has dedicated his time to cleaning Scalby Beck since he moved to Scarborough five years ago.

The polystyrene chips littering the area

The polystyrene chips littering the area

From crisp packets to car tyres, Graham has always picked up the rubbish littering the area of natural beauty.

But he was faced with a new challenge when he found tiny polystyrene chips littering the beck and the surrounding area.

“They’re so small it makes them almost impossible to pick up,” said Graham. “I fear they will quickly break down into micro plastics which could cause a negative impact on the environment for years.”

“I’ve seen them all along North Bay as well as the beck.”

Graham found a sack full of the polystyrene chips in the beck which links back to the Taylor Wimpey development at Scalby. He also found a similar sack which was empty.

A spokesperson for the developer said they do not know how the bag ended up in the beck but they do not expect a recurrence, adding: “As a responsible home builder, we always try to ensure every precaution is taken to avoid any instances such as this and we appreciate it being brought to our attention.

“A member of the Taylor Wimpey team will attend, remove the bag and carry out a thorough investigation of the beck close to site to ensure there are no other materials left in the area.”

Graham spent two years picking up rubbish before he had cleared the area and now only has to pick up new litter. He wants to encourage people to pick up after themselves.