Fin the Fish swims onto beach to collect plastic waste

An eye-catching receptacle for plastic waste was installed on Scarborough’s south beach in the middle of August.

It will mean less work for the council’s early-morning beach-rakers and the volunteers who collect huge mounds of litter at the end of every day in summer.

The big, fish-shaped bin, dubbed Fin the Fish, is the result of a collaboration between Yorkshire Water, Scarborough Council and Hull University.

Recruited for the launch were sisters Laura and Hollie Pilmer, aged 11 and 13, whose mum Lynnsey works for the water firm. They were joined by Lynnsey’s colleagues, including 

Geraldine and Emma Brown, and Emma’s daughter Evie.

Created to show that plastic pollution is damaging all marine organisms on a daily basis, Fin is one small step towards reducing it and showing that however small everyone’s action is, it can help cut the amount of plastic entering the oceans.

Council cabinet member Janet Jefferson said: “We’re really pleased to support this proactive initiative to help tackle the problems associated with plastic waste. We hope it will not only be thought provoking but also encourage everyone visiting Scarborough to play their part in keeping plastic off the beach and out of the sea”.

The university says it works tirelessly to find solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world, from climate change to plastics, flooding to renewable energy. The uni says its Scarborough team is working in partnership to deliver two marine-related projects helping to raise awareness of the problems caused by plastic pollution in the seas and waterways. 

Professor Dan Parsons, director of the university's Energy and Environment Institute, said: “The world has woken up to the critical issue of plastic pollution in our oceans, which is a growing challenge and is having devastating consequences for marine environments both globally and off the Yorkshire coast. Our scientists are tackling these issues through our research and teaching but we all have a duty to do what we can to protect our fragile marine ecosystems”.

Fin was built in Egton Bridge by Godbold Blacksmiths and installed by KRC Engineering Service.