After storm Odette: hundreds of bottles of motor oil from 1966 on … (Oostduinkerke)


Hundreds of bottles of engine oil and brake fluid from British Petroleum (BP) have been washed up on the Belgian west coast and the northern French coast. In 2018 exactly the same bottles washed up. Now there are a lot more. “There are at least a thousand bottles,” says beachcomber A√§ron Fabrice de Kisangani.

“About 54 years ago, a container with motor oil must have ended up in the North Sea,” says the beachcomber from Oostduinkerke. ‘Back then, a thousand of the same bottles were already washed up on the Dutch Wadden island of Texel, dating from 1966. In later years, such waste was also found on the Dutch beaches.

After this weekend’s storm Odette, many bottles washed up along the beach line between Oostduinkerke and Dunkirk. ‘I suspect that the container they were in has now completely rusted through. Storm Odette probably added to the damage, causing the bottles to float and end up on the beach due to the current, ‘he says. ‘I took about a hundred of those bottles with me and researched it together with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). Hopefully, based on the fauna on it, we can determine the exact location of the container, so that it can be emptied. Many bottles leak, causing oil and brake fluid to end up on the beach and thus in the sea. I therefore want to call on the coastal municipalities to remove these as soon as possible. People are already working on this in Northern France and De Panne. ‘

Some bottles leak, causing engine oil and brake fluid to end up on the beach and therefore in the sea.
Photo: smk

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