Government plans to end the dumping of toxic palm oil off the coast of Britain have been welcomed by local politicians and beach clean enthusiasts alike.
Palm oil, which is dangerous to marine life and pets, has repeatedly been found washed up on beaches in Blackpool and the Fylde coast.
Now tankers will no longer be allowed to dump the substance in our seas during cleaning operations after the Government and European leaders agreed to outlaw the practice by 2021.
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard last month called on the Government to take action following repeated palm oil incidents on Fylde coast beaches.
He said: “I welcome the steps the Government has taken to protect our marine environment and our shoreline.
“Shipping firms should not be able to use our waters as a dumping ground and I am pleased that there is international agreement this practice must end.
“Not only is palm oil an unwanted and unsightly pollutant it is dangerous to animals. People should be able to enjoy our wonderful beaches without fear they will come across this potentially harmful waste.
“I am pleased to see the UK leading the way on this matter and hope we will see an end to discharging before the 2021 deadline.”
Under the new guidelines all waste will have to be discharged to shore reception facilities.
Jane Littlewood, chairman of the Rossall Beach Buddies group, said: “It’s excellent news, because we seem to get everybody’s rubbish on our beaches.
“What seems to be happening is they are washing the tanks out at sea and when the palm oil hits the water it sets and it washes up.
“It frequently washes up on the Fylde coast and it ranges from small little bits to great big lumps.”
Gordon Marsden MP said: “This has become an increasing concern and a huge community issue not just in terms of pollution but especially for dog owners.
“I very much welcome the fact that there is finally some movement in this area.
“However I am concerned that this will not be introduced for another three years and I’m sure this will be of concern to anyone who uses the beach. It will be really important to keep the pressure on to make sure this comes as soon as possible and isn’t left until 2021.
“The other issue is how we actually enforce these rules, which the Government needs to give some attention to.”