A walk on the beach with a difference – dozens of volunteers rushed to a beach on Ameland in the West Frisian Islands off the Netherlands, after material lost from a container ship started washing ashore.

The group, including German and Dutch tourists, were trying to pick up Styrofoam before it washed back out to sea.

The detritus came from a Panamanian-flagged ship, which lost up to 270 containers in rough seas off the German island of Borkum, according to the Dutch Coast Guard.

Dutch public broadcaster NOS says 30 of the containers have since floated southwest and washed up on the shores of the Dutch island of Terschelling.

Rubbish isn’t the only thing washing ashore - various goods, including plastic toys, electronic sets and furniture have been scattered on shorelines across the area.

Dutch law allows people who find such goods to keep them, and many people rushed to beaches to collect such items.

With more containers expected to reach the West Frisian Islands in the coming days, three containers transporting toxic materials are still missing.