Red tape is hindering attempts to clean Chesil Beach of its unwanted cigarette bounty.
Due to the content of the plunder washed ashore, estimated to be worth around £8 million, members of the public and organisations alike are not legally allowed to help clear the unsightly and harmful mess.
Before anyone can help with the clean up process, a marine management survey must be undertaken that will declare the best method.
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Chesil Beach officer, Marc Smith, 35, expressed concern about the delay and its inevitable negative impact on wildlife.
‘The plastics have toxins and chemicals which will only worsen its harm on the wildlife over time.’ Smith said.
Another issue is the opportunist members of the public who are trying to seize on the potentially profitable opportunity.
Smith explained that members of the public are opening packets to check if they can be used which only causes further litter.
‘It’s very upsetting to have so many large scale incidents in a row, with the PIB issue last year, and the storm wreck seabirds more recently, now the cigarettes.’ added Smith.
Ilchester Estates manage part of the beach, their country agent for Dorset, Ben Jones, said ‘we are liaising with the appropriate authorities’ but declined to comment any further.
Seaton beach had a similar unwanted beached container, but they didn’t suffer any further environmental impacts, in fact their town mayor, Cllr Ms Gaynor Sedgwick, said it actually had positive impacts as it brought more people to the town.