Lidl investigates island beach debris mystery

GERMAN supermarket giant Lidl is investigating why its products fail in the Channel Islands.

Islanders in Jersey and Guernsey have discovered a range of unopened household items in recent weeks, including toothbrushes, air fresheners and bags of coffee and nuts from Alesto.

Coastguard and Vessel Traffic Service manager Dan Downey said the items could have come from a shipping container that was knocked overboard during a storm, and warned islanders not to eat nor drink anything they find.

A Lidl spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating this so that we can identify exactly what could have happened so that we can share a fully informed response.”

Kevin McIlwee, president of Jersey Marine Conservation, said the situation highlights the need to reduce the global reliance on plastic products.

He said: “When you look at the way containers are loaded, they are often stacked to enormous heights.

“You have to imagine that when a ship is battling in a huge sea, with a lot of sideways movement, there is a good chance that a container will end up in the water.

“Securing containers on these massive ships might need an overhaul, but even then some ships will sink with thousands on board.

“What’s important is the use of recyclable packaging. It’s about trying to find alternatives and minimizing the risk of non-biodegradable items ending up in the food chain.”

He urged islanders to throw away any plastic products they might find while exploring the coastline.

“Let’s do our best to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and when we’re done, let’s make sure it goes to the best place possible,” he added.

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