A team of beach cleaners were shocked to discover a 19-year-old crisp packet buried in the sand dunes at an award-winning Fife beach.
The discovery was made by a ranger from the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust during a routine clean up of West Sands beach in St Andrews on December 15.
Ranger Gavin Legg was surprised to find that the empty packet of salt and vinegar Golden Wonder Wheat Crunchies had an expiry date of December 1999.
He went on to discover a second packet of Walkers cheese and onion which went out of date in December 2006 making the wrapping 12-years-old.
He is now urging members of the public to mindful of dropping their litter and how they can go about reducing the amount of rubbish produced.
He said: “We found the packets of crisps during a beach clean we were doing on December 15 at the West Sands in St Andrews.
“Quite often, if we get westerly winds, the sand blows up from the beach on to the dune faces so you get quite soft sand and sometimes litter gets taken in.
“It comes out the sea and gets carried up the beach by the wind. I could just see what looked like a little crisp packet sticking out of a bank in the sand.
“I pulled it out and just thought I’d have a quick look and see when this crisp packet was used. I looked at the back of it and saw the date was from 2006.
“The second packet I found, the Golden Wonder Wheat Crunchies, was on the exact same beach clean and dated back to 1999.”
He added: “I would urge people to always try to reduce the amount that we use.
“The key to getting any kind of litter message out there is using the reduce, reuse recycle motto. If we don’t need it, don’t use it.
“For example, people are still going to eat crisps but if you’re going to take them for your lunch, get a bigger bag and put some into a smaller, reusable tub rather than buying a multipack where you get one big bag with seven or eight smaller bags in it.
“Additionally, if you do have wrappers from your food, make sure it gets put into a litter bin.
“I’d also urge people to see if there is a recycling scheme. Walkers crisps have very recently started a crisp packet recycling scheme although there aren’t many drop off points in Scotland yet.
“But hopefully if we keep asking, they’ll bring in more locations.”
Crisp packets can take up to 80 years to compose.
The next beach clean up arranged by the FCCT will take place at the West Sands January 19.