A group of people in Wimbledon, including MP Stephen Hammond, joined forces on Saturday to help pick litter ahead of Keep Britain Tidy’s upcoming campaign.
The Great British Spring Clean 2019 will take place between 22 March and 23 April, as it aims to attract people to help in cleaning the streets of their local areas.
During the 95-minute session, the group of 14 volunteers found all types of materials such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and pieces of paper.
Despite statistics from RECOUP, a plastic recycling charity, showing a record 351,907 tonnes of plastic being recycled in Britain last year, there are still a huge number of plastics being discarded on the roads.
“The impact on our children, on the environment and on wildlife is just horrendous,” said Alexandra Naylor, a volunteer in the clean-up event on Saturday.
“We’ve seen wildlife suffering as they are getting plastic rings caught on their neck, they’re eating it, they’re getting too heavy because they’re eating plastics and they can’t fly.
“The knock on impact for everyone in society and the environment is atrocious.”
Plastics are just one of the types of rubbish found on the streets, and Stephanie Upton-Prowse, organiser of the Keep Britain Tidy event in Wimbledon, believes it is time for people to take it upon themselves to make a difference.
Stephanie explained: “I think that everyone needs to get involved and do their bit because the local council’s resources are obviously limited and money is going to help older people and schools.
“If we didn’t have people throwing litter in the first place, we’d have a lot more money around to help everybody else.
“Everyone’s just got to take responsibility, make it unacceptable to chuck litter and if there’s litter around in your area, go around with a few friends to help pick it up.”
Sometimes people are unsure what to do with their rubbish and find that bins across their area are full, but Alexandra thinks there is no excuse for not being responsible with rubbish.
“I understand that bins are full and people won’t know where to put rubbish,” she said.
“But take it home, do something with it rather than just chucking it out of your car or window.
“We really have to wake up and do our part, so if everyone just did a little bit, the difference would be massive.”
Siobhan Kinsella, one of the volunteers who brought her daughter along, said: “There is an awful lot of rubbish strewn around the area and it’s actually quite depressing how much rubbish is on the streets.
“I think a lot more needs to be done to make sure that we are looking after our area.
“People need to take responsibility for their own areas, I think that’s really important and even if everyone would pick up after themselves and didn’t throw rubbish in the first place, I think it would make a huge difference.”
Last year, 374,000 people volunteered across Britain to help with this scheme, and this year it is hoped half a million people will participate.
Stephanie’s message is clear and simple.
“I think if we all just took responsibility, ideally if we didn’t chuck litter in the first place we wouldn’t have this problem but we do.
“It’s really important that we get it cleaned up.”
- 10000An initiative to encourage children to clean the streets while exercising is being set up across schools in Richmond. The activity, called plogging, an amalgamation of jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ which means pick up, began in Sweden in 2016 due to concerns over the environment and rubbish…
- Freethefruit campaigners ask supermarkets to reduce unnecessary use of plastic in fresh food packaging10000A grassroots campaign group is calling on supermarkets to continue cutting their use of plastic, specifically in the case of fruits and vegetables that do not need it. The use of plastic packaging by supermarkets has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, with an upsurge in public interest around…
- 10000Environmental charity Hubbub launched its second river waste crusade displaying freshly-sourced litter as part of Putney’s For Fish’s Sake campaign last week. The 'little fishmonger' stall was set up last Saturday at the Positively Putney festival to showcase the extent of the increasing plastic waste problem currently plaguing the River…
- SWL March e-edition: Andy Murray's return to Wimbledon, the schoolgirl taking on Heathrow representatives and a scaly visitor in Merton10000
- PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Andy Murray seen for the first time since hip operation in Wimbledon Thai restaurant10000Andy Murray enjoyed an evening at a Wimbledon restaurant in his first public sighting since undergoing hip surgery. The tennis star arrived on crutches for the Thai meal with friends at Patara restaurant on February 15 and posed for photographs with staff. Restaurant manager Sutin Sriyod, 50, said: “He could…