Laurence Miller was scanning the sand for trash with a group of beach-cleaning volunteers Sunday when he spotted an unopened bag of onion and cheese chips.
Snacks are buried all over beaches, but this partiular kind of potato chip was unlike anything Miller had ever seen. That's because the chips were three times his age.
The 10-year-old boy showed the decades-old Walkers crisps bag to Rob Stevenson, who organizes volunteer groups for the Beach Guardian Project. Based on the packaging, Stevenson guessed the bag dated back to the 1980s.
“We think the packet dates from the 1980s as on the back it says ‘The Valuation Game,'" Stevenson told SWNS. "We think that was a promotion they ran as a sort of football thing. We found a guy selling ‘The Valuation Game’ book on eBay and he said this is about 30 years old."
“The crisps are more than three times older than him. It really demonstrates just what the problem of using plastics are."
Stevenson said the find is just the latest example of the troubling effect pollution, particularly plastic, is having on the world's oceans -- and urged residents to clean up after themselves.
“The crisps are more than three times older than him, it really demonstrates just what the problem of using plastics are," Stevenson said. "Some of them will stay in the sand dunes if people have dropped them and the wind blows the sand over and they get covered; stuff floats around in the sea and gets battered; some may be in a sand dune for a long time, fall into the sea and come back in again."
A 2014 study published in a Public Library of Science journal revealed there's a minimum of 5 trillion pieces of plastic (weighing 268,940 tons) in our world's oceans -- and that number is only expected to grow.
A "floating" island of trash, dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), stretches 600,000 square miles across the Pacific Ocean, according to a study published in Scientific Reports in late March. It's more than three times the size of France.
“We can’t say how long the plastic has been exposed for or where it’s been, but it goes to show if you litter something somewhere, it does generally end up in the sea," Stevenson commented.
He had to admit, though, it was an exciting find.
“It’s probably the strangest thing I’ve found; I found lumps of palm oil in blocks and they get washed up sometimes, they are quite weird to find," Miller added.
This boy's strange discovery comes just months after another clean-up crew spotted a Walkers crisps bag from 1997 in nearby Constantine Bay, SWNS reports.
A Walkers spokesperson said they take littering seriously, and hope to find a solution to the problem plaguing the planet in the near future.
“We include on-pack labels to encourage our consumers to dispose of their waste responsibly and are also working towards the goal of designing all our packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025," the company said.