Blackpool MP in call for action on toxic palm oil

Wyre Councils  Bill Ramshaw  with palm oil found on the beaches in December
Wyre Councils Bill Ramshaw with palm oil found on the beaches in December

A Blackpool MP is calling on the Government to review rules about the dumping of palm oil at sea.

It follows repeated incidents where palm oil washed up on Fylde coast beaches over the past year and warnings were issued to dog walkers to keep their animals away from the poisonous, waxy substance.

Over the weekend, it was reported tankers were frequently disposing of the substance off the UK coastline.

Those reports highlighted the issue of permitted discharging and Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard says current regulations may not be protecting seas and coastal communities.

He has written to the Secretary of State for Transport asking for urgent clarification on the regulations under which tankers in UK waters operate and calling for a review of the practice to take place.

Mr Maynard said: “There have been a number of incidents involving palm oil washing up on my constituency.

“It is not only unsightly and an inconvenience to remove but it is a significant threat to dogs. Palm oil is dangerous if consumed by animals; in some instances dogs have died.

“Its presence on the sands effectively makes an stretch of beach a no-go area for dog walkers.

“I am concerned that palm oil is being routinely dumped off our coastline and have asked the Secretary of State to look into the issue. It is important we tackle this pollution and ensure our beautiful coastline can be enjoyed by all.”

Palm oil is used in products including foods, soap and biofuels. Ships often clean their tanks after delivering the substance and are allowed to dump a limited amount of the contaminated residue at sea, provided they do so more than 12 miles from the shore.

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