‘Pretty mind-blowing’: KFC plastic bag from the 1970s is found during a clean-up of the ocean floor
- Divers have found a KFC plastic bag from the 1970s during underwater clean-up
- Sunshine Coast Clean Up Divers retrieved the bag off Bulcock Beach, Caloundra
- The single-use plastic is believed to be from the 1970s-80s due to the bag’s logo
A KFC plastic bag from 40 years ago has been found full of silt and tangled in rocks eight metres underwater.
The bag was retrieved by Sunshine Coast Clean Up Divers as they scoured the waters off Bulcock Beach in Queensland last month.
The volunteer group, who cleaned up each month, said the bag was ‘almost fully intact’.
Elliot Peters, the group’s founder, said a KFC spokesperson believed the bag was from the 1970s, judging by the logo.
An intact KFC plastic bag from 40 years ago has been found full of silt and tangled in rocks eight metres underwater
Pictured: Items recovered from one of SCCUD’s monthly dives
An underwater pictured shared by group founder Elliot Peters. ‘In the 18 months we’ve been operating, we have collected over 500kg of debris, including almost 20km of fishing line,’ he said
The plastic bag displays the distinctive face of the fast food chain’s founder, Colonel Sanders.
Mr Peters said it was hard to know the exact date the plastic bag was dumped in the water.
‘But obviously you don’t keep a KFC bag lying around and then drop it into the water 40 years later, so it’s obviously been around in the environment somewhere, whether underwater or not,’ he told the ABC.
‘Either way, that’s pretty mind-blowing.’
A 1971 Coles bag was also discovered last month by researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast as they searched among mangroves in Moreton Bay.
A ban on single-used plastic bags was introduced by the Queensland Government on July 1 last year, amid mounting pressure to tackle plastic waste.
Plastic bags can take between 10-1000 years to decompose and when left in the environment they can dangerously affect wildlife who mistake the rubbish for food.
‘We hear about how long plastics last, especially as microplastics, but for a plastic bag that wasn’t really thick … and still mainly intact and identifiable and 40 years old,’ Mr Peters said.
The dated single-use bag was retrieved by Sunshine Coast Clean Up Divers (SCCUD) as they scoured water in the pumicestone passage off Bulcock Beach, Caloundra, last month
SCCUD, which focuses on the Northern Pumicestone Passage and the Mooloolah River estuary, report all their findings to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative and Project Aware.
‘We take the time to carefully remove debris, sort it, reuse or repurpose what we can through local artists, recycle or dispose of responsibly whatever is left over,’ Mr Peters said.
‘In the 18 months we’ve been operating, we have collected over 500kg of debris, including almost 20km of fishing line.’
Mr Peters said the group struggle to keep-up with the demands of the underwater clean-up.
‘Sadly we are barely able to cover even 1000sq m before we need to start again in the same spot, there are areas with dozens of tyres and cobwebs of fishing line that we would love to clean up but we just don’t have the time,’ he said.
SCCUD organises their ocean clean-ups on Facebook and welcome new participation