HUNDREDS of plastic cups have washed up on Chesil Beach in the past week.

And Dorset wildlife conservationist Steve Trewhella is calling on authorities to take action in a bid to protect Dorset’s natural environments.

Mr Trewhella, of Wareham, discovered more than 600 cups washed up along a 200m stretch of Chesil Beach on Portland in the last week alone.

He says the problem has come from retailers and beachgoers with recent windy weather forcing the waste plastic along the coast.

He said: “Retailers along the coast, beach goers and local authorities need to take responsibility.

“The beaches and oceans are already saturated with plastic.

“If this many plastic cups were found in a 200m stretch of Chesil Beach – then you can imagine the full scale of the problem.”

He believes the true impact of these problems would begin to show over the next few years with a decline in ocean life.

And plastic cups aren’t the only waste washing up on Dorset beaches, Mr Trewhella has discovered a dead seal pup and a dead dolphin along the county’s shores.

Problems escalated earlier this year after weeks of severe storms in Dorset, which led to tonnes of debris, litter and dead seabirds being washed up along the Jurassic coastline.

Among the rubbish, lumps of a white, sticky substance were found on beaches which was found to be a rancid, vegetable based oil with fatty acids and hazardous to dogs and wildlife. Mr Trewhella said: “I believe there is a bigger problem lurking out in the Atlantic Ocean and our offshore waters. The problem is a toxic soup of broken down plastic and torn fishing nets.”