Row over ocean pellets

Ineos hits back at TV chef over plastic pollution claim

Jim RatcliffeChemicals giant Ineos has hit back at TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who has accused the company of contributing to pollution of the oceans.

In a new documentary, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall points to the hundreds of thousands of small plastic pellets, known as nurdles, which are spreading across the world and being digested by marine life and birds. The beach at North Queensferry, along the Firth coastline from Ineos’s Grangemouth plant, was among the worst affected areas.

Ineos is owned by Jim Ratcliffe, pictured, Britain’s third wealthiest man who has just announced another controversial move by investing in Saudi Arabia.

However Tom Crotty, a director at Ineos, rejected the claims and insisted the company was tackling the issue.

“Taking simplistic views that says plastic equals bad is pretty pathetic really, what you need to say is plastic waste is bad and how do we stop that,” he said.

“I think the international tide of opinion is moving against plastic waste, which it should, because plastic waste is a bad thing which needs to be addressed. We’re investing millions in investing in new technology that will allow us to recycle plastics.

“It’s not a waste, it’s a very valuable raw material… we’re doing our bit.”

In a three-part TV documentary War on Plastic, Fearnley-Whittingstall and presenter Anita Rani assess the impact of waste on the environment and point out that every minute the equivalent of a truck full of plastic is emptied into the worlds oceans.

War on Plastic, BBC One, 10 June

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