Palm Oil

“If you see any more of the substance, please report it to the team and we’ll clean it up as soon as possible.”

This week we’ve had Palm Oil washing up on Worthing Beach

Palm Oil is very topical at the moment as it is in a lot of food products and the farming practices to grow it can contribute to deforestation. But we are more concerned with the bits that wash up on our seafront.

Palm Oil is a natural substance which in food is not a risk. Ships are allowed to dump palm oil into the sea if they are at least 12 miles offshore (which is not very far). They use it to clean tanks on board, and then flush it over the side into our sea. When it is used for this purpose it can become contaminated with fuel waste, bacteria and other toxins.

Once contaminated, it can be very dangerous to wildlife and humans if ingested. If you see any please make sure your dogs and family do not eat it! Please report it to a member of the Council and we will clean it up as soon as we can.

We also report it up the chain of command to the Environment Agency who then check the shipping records to try and trace where it came from. Unfortunately it floats for many miles, even across oceans, so it is hard to pin the blame on specific ships.

So far we have cleaned up the bits that washed ashore last weekend. It can be seen in a variety of forms, normally white and waxy looking like a scattering of pebbles, but it can be seen in larger sizes. If you do notice any please let us know.

You can contact Worthing Beach Office on 01903 238977.