A 40-year-old plastic yoghurt pot with a fundraising appeal by disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile has been found during a beach clean.
Niamh Byrne, a Marine Conservation Society (MCS) volunteer found the SKI yoghurt pot washed up on Filey Bay in North Yorkshire.
The label shows one of Savile’s fundraising appeals for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which the MCS believes dates back to 1981.
The volunteers had to remove dead barnacles to get a better look at the label, showing “the considerable amount of time both at sea and on the shore”.
MSC’s North East coordinator Matt Barnes said the yoghurt pot is just one among the many pieces of “retro rubbish” their organisation finds on UK shores each year, demonstrating the “longevity of pervasive pollutants like plastic”.
He said: “This particular piece of litter being a Ski Yogurt Pot with a Jimmy Saville charity appeal dates back to 1981 and was found by Marine Conservation Society volunteer Niamh Byrne during a litter pick in Filey bay who was astounded as the litter was 16 years older than her!”
“It had likely spent a considerable amount of time both at sea and on the shore and had to be cleaned up and have some dead barnacles removed to show the writing,” he added.
Barnes said MCS have volunteers around the UK who are completing citizen science marine litter recording as part of the organisation’s Beachwatch program.
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The organisation’s research found the national average of litter pieces per 100 meters of coast in the UK was 492.6 last year.
The number was significantly higher in the North-East, at 657.8 per 100 meters of coastline.
PPE was also found on 27.5% of beaches in 2020, showing a new surge of marine litter during the pandemic.
Barnes said: “This data helps provide an evidence base for our policy and advocacy teams to pursue enhanced recycling legislation, promote innovation in the packaging sector, enhanced retailer responsibility and inform and empower communities about the products they purchase.”
Last month, a wrapper from a ham and tomato sandwich, eaten in 1992 - 29 years ago, was also found as litter in the Cairngorms National Park.
Savile raised millions for charities during his lifetime.
But after his death in 2011, a string of sexual abuse allegations against him were made, prompting police to conclude that he was a prolific predatory sex offender.
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