Plastic spill into river investigated

The Whakatane River. Photo: Whakatane District Council Facebook.

A plastic spill into the Whakatane River is being investigated by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The discharge of plastic particles into the river last week was accompanied by a strong sulphur-like smell which the council has tracked to at least three potential sources in the area.

Compliance manager Stephen Mellor says council first received a call about the plastic discharge via its Pollution Hotline on Tuesday, May 4, afternoon.

The council’s compliance and maritime staff, alongside the Whakatane District Council, worked until Friday afternoon to clean up the plastic particles, and are continuing to monitor the area.

Because the incident is still under investigation, Mellor says he can’t provide any details on where the plastic came from or what form, size or shape it was in.

The regional council is also working with the three identified sites and Mellor encourages members of the public that smell the sulphur-like odour, to call the council’s Pollution Hotline and provide as much descriptive detail as they can, so it has the best opportunity to pin-point the source.

As part of the council’s investigation, it will be considering any environmental impact.
“If anyone finds, sees or smells pollution, please report it to our 24/7 Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 833,” says Mellor.

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