Villagers to deliver plastic litter from shale gas site to Ineos executive

190318 Harthill litter pick

Community litter pick, Harthill, 18 March 2019. Photo: Stills from video by Deborah Gibson

Plastic streamers, used to deter birds from an Ineos shale gas site in south Yorkshire, have turned up as rubbish in nearby woods and hedgerows.

People living near the site at Harthill collected waste from the streamers during a litter pick last night. They said they would deliver the rubbish to a senior Ineos executive, along with a bill for their time.

Ineos said the streamers, installed in the field off Common Road, had been vandalised. A company spokesperson said:

“Ineos Shale has been made aware that some of the streamers currently operating in a scarecrow function on the Harthill site have come loose.

“These streamers have previously been the subject of vandalism – we are investigating the cause of the latest incident. The previous incidents were particular disappointing as they added an environmental impact to criminal activity.”

But participants in the litter pick said the ribbons had been blown off the site twice in recent storms.

Deborah Gibson, of Harthill Against Fracking, said:

“On two occasions the bird scaring plastic ribbons have blown off in high winds. On both, not just the most recent, occasions the plastic rubbish has littered the environment.

“I am aware that new bird scarers have been installed now, for the third time. This time it is after the deadline for bird nesting season, when birds should not be disturbed. It is not only the small nesting birds that are at risk, it is the owls and larger raptors that are also endangered by this activity.”

Ms Gibson said the litter pickers had gathered a box of plastic waste. She said:

“This is going by post, directly to Tom Pickering, Operations Director of Ineos, along with an invoice for the cost of our time and labour. Ineos must be held to account and pay for their irresponsibility, and their carelessness for our environment.”

190317 Harthill

Streamers at the Ineos shale gas site, of Common Road, Harthill, south Yorkshire, 17 March 2019. Photo: Deborah Gibson

Ms Gibson added:

“It was bad enough that the ribbons were fluttering to deliberately keep wild birds away, but now the plastic waste is spread out everywhere.

“They were not fit for purpose and now we have to remove Ineos’s plastic rubbish as soon as possible. I sincerely hope Ineos’s slipshod, slapdash approach to materials and techniques does not translate into their fracking practices.”

Another participant, Wendy Barlow, said after the litter pick:

“It was harder work than I thought it would be. It’s too dark to go on now but I know there is more. It’s getting to be smaller and smaller pieces now and what we don’t collect will go further in the undergrowth. Their thoughtlessness makes me so angry.”

“The real irony is that Ineos want the fracked shale gas for their own plastics manufacturing feedstock, and here they are littering our environment before they even start.”

Anti-fracking campaigner, Christina Whalley, who lives near another Ineos site, joined the litter pick. She said:

“This lack of respect for communities seems typical of this industry wherever they go. A bit of plastic rubbish may appear a small thing but it is potentially devastating to small birds and animals at this time of year.”

She also complained that the perimeter hedge at the site had been cut recently:

“No birds are able to nest here at all, and the shiny ribbons made sure they wouldn’t even come looking. This borders on a wildlife crime, I’m sure”.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to destroy, damage or disturb a nest at any time of the year. The RSPB recommends not cutting hedgerows or using bird deterrent methods during the nesting season, which generally runs from March to September.

  • DrillOrDrop asked South Yorkshire Police whether it had received formal complaints of either vandalism or wildlife crimes. This post will be updated with the force’s response.

15 replies »

  1. Let’s face it, this is typical of ineos. They couldn’t care less about the environment, locally, nationally or World wide. All ineos are interested in is making rat cliff an even richer man.

    • You need to do your homework Jon.

      Sir Jim contributes a lot more to environmental issues than you do. Maybe, he will do even more if he generates some more profit. Saying it is not so may make you feel better but those who bother to do their homework will think otherwise.

    • Yes you need to get your facts right jon.
      What about cuadrilla and the monster french waste company suez,they have all bought licences to frack. At least jim is very patriotic and knows it will turn the british industry around like it has in america and will provide thousands of jobs.
      We should be proud of him and the fact he is british..

  2. Quite conservative at their litter pick.

    Our local one produced a whole cooked chicken-shame on the foxes, haven’t they heard about austerity-and numerous soiled nappies.

    Perhaps, Christina, the bird streamers were to redirect the birds to an alternative site so they would not then be disturbed. DOH. Rummaging about for bits of plastic has now probably negated that. Well done. So much time, so little thought.

    • The birds may well have been forced to find another site but the point is they shouldn’t have to.

      • Have you asked the birds Pauline?

        Maybe, they all appreciated the redirection, just like they do NOT get when approaching a wind turbine-OUCH!

        Good old Sir Jim. Good job he spends so much more on environmental projects than you do Pauline.

        • Martyn – yes, I’m sure they really appreciate a toxic waste dump, being erected on their meadows, poisoning the air, land and water. And the residents must be chuffed, too. “Sir Jim” – I’ve heard of one of those before – he’s fixing it for Yorkshire to get proper fracked. He spends money on plenty of environ mental projects – generally to wreck it & move on. Occasional greenwash to reassure the masses, nothing to see here.

          Have a rig in your back garden and then speak. [Edited by moderator]

  3. By the way, that white car looks to be causing an obstruction! I wonder if South Yorkshire Police are aware? Equally, the use of fossil fuel to drive to an area to litter pick does seem contrary to the spirit of the UN report. Sir Jim would be much more impressed if some got on their bikes.

    Seems traffic management plans are not too much of a concern in this area. Oops.

  4. Trash Reporting! What next?
    I’m loving the facts humans are NOW against plastic manufacture, a derivative of fossil fuel industry. These precious snow flakes who buy their vegan chips in a plastic bag, vegan sandwich from a cardboard box, collect their travelling camping water in some sort of fossil fuel container and now decry this product because they despise Sir Jim, a man who creates employment, pays taxes and does a damn sight more in financial contribution than these lazy protesters!
    Who has the time and finances to protest full time, these really are the bleeds of society!

    • Just destroy our land and get it over with, merchant of evil.
      We have devastated the rest of the planet, marched roughshod over most civilizations,
      You vile nurks are just our karma for that. Destroy ourselves for what we did to India & Africa.
      I’m the actual patriot, for honestly pointing it out. INEOS are guilty of high treason – ecocide.

  5. Eli-Goth: what I find amusing is the easy way some try and conflate the use of plastic and the failure to dispose/recycle it. Call me old fashioned, but I remember when the big issue was sewage in the sea. Did we think corks were the answer, or closing all Indian restaurants? No, we stopped it getting into the sea (largely) and made other provision to process it.

    Just shows how some see a gravy train in the making and jump onto it. Strange though that plastic water containers are okay outside PNR, plastic can be strewn all over the fencing and ladies undies interspersed (now that was enough to frighten off any nesting birds!)

    I know there is little news at the moment, but this item is just about the most contrived I have seen on any subject over the last decade. I’m sure it will be grist to the next injunction application.

    • Enjoy your Faustian bargain, you’ve sold your soul to the devil for a few years of petty enjoyment, and at the end Mother Earth will point out to the Lord, Her Husband & Keeper, what you have done, and that’ll be you – for a very, very long time.

      It’s a pretty poor deal. The spiritual equivalent of taking out a Wonga loan. You are morally bankrupt.
      Go to Naraka. Go directly to Naraka. Do not pass Sky, do not collect anything but 88,000 whacks on the way down.

  6. Think about it, OK so some of the plastic streamers blew off in a gale, like my street has more litter this week because the wheelie bins blew over.

    Firstly is it really worth bothering the police with a request about one box of litter? Bit silly.

    Secondly compare that with the larger amount of pollution and litter probably coming from one ship importing LNG from the Middle-east. If Good Old Jim can prevent just one cargo load then he’s an environmental winner. Perhaps more speculatively if he can really generate a large onshore U.K. gas industry he will genuinely save lives by reducing winter fuel bills.

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