NEWS SPREADS FAR: It may not be Spanish Armada gold but humble Canadian margarine tub makes headlines after being found near iconic Dunluce Castle

SPREAD FAR ... A margarine tub from Canada found near Dunluce Castle.

RUBBISH which may have made an extraordinary journey of thousands of miles across the Atlantic from Newfoundland has been cleaned up from below Dunluce Castle, writes Nevin Farrell.

While the waters off that part of the County Antrim north coast may have yielded other more notable treasures over the years like from Spanish Armada shipwrecks – the discovery of a margarine tub which apparently drifted across the vast ocean expanses from Canada – is remarkable in its own way.



The lid of the tub. Picture: Sea2it.


Sea2it, which brings together community groups and individuals as volunteers to tackle marine and freshwater litter, posted a picture of the tub, and said: ‘Well here’s the tub of Imperial Margarine from Newfoundland, Canada which was found amongst waste at Dunluce Castle.

‘Imperial is distributed by Unilever in Canada. From our research we believe that the last margarine factory in Newfoundland closed in St. John’s in 2004. Originally the white on this tub would have been yellow, so it’s been around for quite a while. There are no dates on the tub.

‘This shows the vast distances which plastic waste can travel in the worlds oceans,’ the group said.

Meanwhile, The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has paid tribute to the Sea2it volunteers who removed a significant amount of marine waste from the water beneath the iconic Dunluce Castle.

Sea2it volunteers, alongside staff members from Causeway Coasteering and the crew of the Causeway Lass fishing boat donned wetsuits and helped haul away the array of discarded items from the coast.

CROSS-ATLANTIC TUB: Matt Wright from Causeway Coasteering shows a margarine tub from Newfoundland, Canada, found amongst waste beneath Dunluce Castle, to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Alderman Mark Fielding.​​


Among the items removed were a fridge, scaffolding, car tyres, plastic bottles, bags, containers, ropes, and rubber belts, with some of the waste originating from as far afield as Newfoundland and Spain.

The waste removal from the rocky bay was helped by the R&A’s Open Golf Legacy Fund, which aims to leave a positive lasting legacy in host areas.

As recipients of a share of last year’s fund following The Open at Royal Portrush, the group was able to refurbish the speedboat used during the clean-up operation while the money also helped provide personal protective equipment for the volunteers.

Mayor Fielding met some of the to the volunteers to thank them for their hard work.

How the tub would originally have looked.


He said: “Across Causeway Coast and Glens we are fortunate to have a very active community and voluntary sector, which consistently does all it can to improve the lives of our residents. I want to offer my sincere thanks to all those involved in this scheme and indeed all those across the Borough who dedicate their time and energy to keeping our beautiful natural environments free from waste and litter.

“Our stunning coast is there for everyone’s enjoyment, and on behalf of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council I offer our sincere gratitude.

Dunluce Castle: Picture: Discover Northern Ireland.


“It is wonderful to see the benefits of The Open at Royal Portrush continuing to have a positive and long-lasting impact on our local environment and communities.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that we need everyone to play their part to help keep our Borough clean. Always dispose of your rubbish properly or take it home with you”

Some of those taking part in the clean-up at Dunluce. Picture: Matt Wright.


Skipper Richard Connor from Causeway Boats, who took part in the clean up, said: “Being an operator of charter tourism boats on the North Coast we see first hand the volume of marine plastic both afloat in the water itself and washed ashore in the many bays.

“Our skippers and crew take seriously our responsibility to both help directly deal with pollution, and raise awareness of its presence.

“We warmly welcome the Council’s support on this important global issue, and the support the Open Legacy Fund which has directly helped tackle this problem.”

To report an incident of littering please contact Environmental Health by ringing 028 2766 0200 or email







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