No distress to Dún Laoghaire wildlife from plastics pollution, says council

No signs of distress to wildlife have been found by investigators searching the sea at Dún Laoghaire following pollution from plastic fibres used in the reconstruction of the Dún Laoghaire Baths.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said a “boat analysis” conducted last weekend had found “nothing in relation to plastic pollution throughout the inspection”.

Some 70kg of “tooth-pick sized” plastic fibres being used in the reconstruction of the Dún Laoghaire Baths were recovered from the south Dublin coastline two weeks ago.

According to a council statement, the inspection was carried out by contractor Siac which is involved in the restoration of the former Dún Laoghaire Baths site between Dún Laoghaire Harbour and Sandycove.

Siac has acknowledged the release of the plastic fibres from its construction site at the baths complex on November 2nd.

Suspension

The release was followed by a suspension of works at the site and the recovery of 50 kilograms of fibres from local beaches and sea waters in the days immediately after the incident.

The council said Siac’s latest inspection had found no indication “at any of the work areas of any distress to any forms of wildlife”.

The council said workers remained at all affected locations and were continuing to assess the site and clear any plastic found.

“Over the week a very minimal amount of plastics were discovered at Sandycove and the Forty Foot. This [clean up operation] will continue this week”.

The council statement comes as environmental groups claim plastic fibres from the Dún Laoghaire Baths site have been found across Dublin Bay, at Sandymount, Clontarf, Dollymount and up the north Dublin coast at Donabate.

BirdWatch Ireland has posted pictures of plastics it said were found in some of these locations, on its social media pages.

Niall Hatch of BirdWatch said there was concern for thousands of Brent geese which overwinter in the bay, as well as ducks and other wading birds.