A HEARTBREAKING video shows piles of plastic rubbish piled up on a beach on a Scottish island famed for its unspoilt coastline.
Adventure tour operator Shane Wasik found the mass of plastic containers and fishing debris washed up on Mull in the Inner Hebrides.
He is now appealing for donations so that he and a team of volunteers can clean up Tràigh Cadh’ an Easa’, a small bay off the south coast of the island.
The 36-year-old from Oban, Argyll and Bute, was taking a tour group swimming in a nearby waterfall on Sunday when he encountered the shocking pollution.
The founder of boat tour group Basking Shark Scotland took a short video of the mess, writing: “We’re 50 kilometers (30 miles) plus from any major habitation but look at the shocking plastic pollution. We are organising a clean up mission, but it’s not easy to get there.
“We need volunteers to help collect the plastic – around 16 roughly. Then we need to raise some money to cover costs of getting people there and the back, along with transporting all the collected debris to suitable facilities on the mainland.”
The clip begins with Shane in front of the camera, with a rocky beach and shore line visible behind him. He says: “We’re out on a really cool tour today, just on the south coast of Mull. We’ve swum around and just been to see this amazing waterfall.”
Turning the camera around to show the rocky beach, he adds: “I just wanted to show you this, check out this. This is all just plastic debris.”
Shane continues: “This is the atlantic facing coast, so big seas out here but it’s such a shame to see this amazing little spot just covered in plastic.
“Look at the state of this. Of course some fishing debris, and of course anything at sea will end up here.”
As Shane walks past abandoned footballs and plastic containers, he adds: “We could really do with coming to collect some of this, it’s pretty horrible to see it like this.
“It’s absolutely covered in this coastline, just in this little bay, where I guess the waves push everything in.
“Look at the state of it. We need to come back here and sort this out. I reckon we will see if we can get a crew together, come back and pick this stuff up.”
On the back of their discovery, the group have launched a gofundme to of £793 pay for the costs of the boat and disposing of the rubbish.
However, Shane says he won’t “hang about” and hopes to go back to the bay on Thursday to begin the clean up – depending on the weather.
On social media, Beverley Maidment said: “It needs highlighting that this is waste products from boats, ships, fishing vessels, etc. Disgusting.”
Thomas Plant wrote: “I’m interested in helping with the cleanup. Would also be good to count and record and washed up seabirds or other animals.”
While Kerry Pmek added: “That’s nothing compared to what the basking sharks are digesting. In fact it looks like nicely cleaned sea plastic. You could make an art sculpture pot out of that. We need to dredge the seas, nevermind a line of plastic that’s affronting your eyes.”
In September 2016, 1,744 volunteers cleaned 121 of Scotland’s beaches.
They picked up on average 459 items of litter per 100km (62 miles) they cleaned.
The number of plastic bottles on Scottish beaches rose by 21.3% compared to the number collected in 2015.