A pair of slinky pink undies picked up by astronaut Tim Peake has made the top 10 list of weirdest items found washed up on the UK’s beaches in 2020.
The astronaut joined a litter pick at Chichester in September – one of the hundreds of beach cleans run by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) every year.
Peake joked on Instagram: ‘Skinny dipping anyone? What do you like to do on the beach? Whatever it is, please remember to take your underwear with you when you leave.
This pair of women’s pink pants were found by astronaut Tim Peake in Chichester back in September this year and have been voted among the top 10 weirdest beach clean finds
The Marine Conservation Society said that their volunteers found disposable PPE on 30 per cent of the beaches they cleaned
70 per cent of the Marine Conservation Society’s inland volunteers found items of PPE during their cleaning
‘These saucy smalls and an old fishing rod were just some of the things we found on our #greatbritishbeachclean at the weekend. @mcs_uk #beachcleanup #plastic.’
A glitterball and plastic Christmas tree were among the festive flotsam to make the top 10, along with a plastic Olaf figure from the film Frozen and Christmas baubles.
Elsewhere, in what sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, volunteers for MCS’s Beachwatch programme found a double mattress, a wig and a single wedding shoe.
A fridge door and a 20-year-old crisp packet were more stark reminders of just how many millions of tonnes of rubbish end up in the ocean each year, and how long it will stick around.
Along with the picture of the pink pants, Tim Peake also posted a snap of a bag filled with rubbish that he collected during the litter pick
Other Marine Conservation Society volunteers found a double mattress, a wig and even a single wedding shoe. Pictured: Marine Conservation Society member with some of the litter they picked during a clean at Porthtowan on September 21, 2015
Other items that joined the underwear Tim Peake found included a glitterball and an entire Christmas tree
Crisp packets, cigarettes, sweet wrappers and drinks bottles are among the most commonly littered items around the world.
But the pandemic is now also taking its toll on our marine environment, with MCS volunteers finding disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves on 30% of beaches.
Worryingly, 70% of MCS’s inland litter picks found PPE items, meaning it is just a matter of time before they make their way to the ocean.
The plastic items can be ingested by wildlife, or they can become entangled in the straps and take decades to break down.
Marine Conservation Society volunteers also cleared away items such as crisp packets and even a fridge door
The single-use PPE equipment discovered by the volunteers could prove harmful to wildlife if left discarded
Each of the volunteers that take part in the litter picks on beaches around the country take records of every item that they find
The thousands of volunteers that take part in Beachwatch litter picks record what they find, with the data used to inform MCS’s campaigns for policies to cut single-use plastic waste.
Beachwatch has been supported by funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, receiving £2.65 million in grants since 2018.
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: ‘I was shocked to learn about the vast assortment and sizes of the items that have been washed up on our beaches.
‘It is a stark reminder that we need to do more to protect our seas and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery continue to support this valuable work.’