Life-size seal sculpture made of plastic bags and bottles returns to Whitley Bay

A life-size seal sculpture from artists Beth Huttly and Alex Welch has returned to Whitley Bay

A life-size seal sculpture made from litter has returned to the Whitley Bay coast after a winter indoors away from the elements.

North Tyneside Council’s six-foot sculpture now sits proudly back in its place along the coastline.

The sculpture, created by artists Beth Huttly and Alex Welch, is made from plastic bottles, straws, empty food cartons, face coverings, plastic bags and other items.

In an effort to raise awareness of environmental issues, the seal sculpture was installed last spring by the council and toured the coastline until late autumn.

Whitley Bay is the first coast to feature the return of the environmentally-inspired seal sculpture

Cllr Sandra Graham spoke of the seal’s return, saying: “The sculpture was a great talking point last year, with many people stopping to chat about its significance, and I am delighted it is back.

“Single-use plastics create avoidable waste and the detrimental impact and damage to the environment and wildlife is huge. All-year-round, the council, as well as community-spirited residents and local businesses, clear thousands of tonnes of rubbish, including single-use plastics, left on North Tyneside’s beaches.

“However, only last month, a real seal pup was found distressed with plastic-wrapped tightly around its neck in Whitley Bay. Thankfully, it was freed, but this is the stark and upsetting reality of plastic pollution in our seas. It must stop.

“I would urge everyone not only to take their litter home but to please stop or reduce the number of single-use plastics they buy – like plastic water bottles and shopping bags, throwaway cutlery, polystyrene cups, etc.”

The seal will once again tour the North Tyneside coastline, moving to one of six locations every two weeks, beginning at the Spanish City Dome.