HP cartridges wash up on UK shores


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 POLLUTION: Ink cartridges have been washing up on beaches in the UK (Pic credit: ‘Lego At Sea’ Facebook)

POLLUTION: Ink cartridges have been washing up on beaches in the UK (Pic credit: ‘Lego At Sea’ Facebook)

Sea-life may be threatened due to plastic in the sea

Hundreds of ink cartridges are washing up on beaches around Britain and Europe after being lost at sea more than a year ago.

The plastic cartridges have been found along the UK's south and west coasts, as well as in Ireland, France, Portugal, the Azores, and the Hebrides.

Environmentalists say that any plastic in the sea presents a hazard for wildlife, from dolphins that may swallow cartridges, to sea birds whose wings may get covered in the ink.

HP says it is finalising a financial donation to help the clean-up.

Thousands of zingy pink plastic detergent bottles washed up on beaches in Cornwall earlier this week, likely to be the result of an unrelated loss of cargo at sea.

Beachcomber Tracey Williams, who lives in Newquay, first found the printer cartridges last summer.

HP said in a statement that the cartridge spill was the result of an Atlantic storm more than a year ago, where a number of cartridges were lost at sea.

The statement also said it is ‘unable to provide details on the number of cartridges or exact location’ of their loss.

It added: “Based on global standards, we can confirm there is no risk to sea life from the ink as it is water based.

“We are looking into how best to support the collection of the cartridges and very much appreciate the support of the local beach cleaning organisations and individuals who have been doing so."

The company was finalising details of a donation, a spokeswoman added.

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