Charity encourages Boat Race spectators and rowers to consider environmental impact of the event

Wandsworth Council and Hubbub Foundation are preparing for the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race 2019 as they urge thousands of spectators and rowers to protect the Thames from pollution this Sunday.

Each year tons of plastic are collected in Putney following the boat race and large amounts of the waste ends up being washed into the Thames causing environmental problems.

For large-scale events up to 50,000 single-use plastic cups are used in pubs. Positively Putney Business Improvement District (BID) have purchased 14,000 reusable cups to be used in eight high street and river pubs in a new initiative. The cups can be washed and re-used 50 times in the aim to reduce litter.

There will also be additional bins along the Embankment to dispose of litter correctly.

Hubbub Foundation, a London environmental charity, has also set out some tips for reducing pollution on Sunday. The charity has also urged rowing clubs around Putney Embankment to follow the Rowers’ Charter checklist to help support the environment.

Wandsworth’s environment spokesman Councillor Steffi Sutters said: “It’s really important that everyone plays a constructive role in protecting our river and its wildlife by preventing litter, especially plastics, from ending up in the water.”

She added: “We will be playing our part by deploying our clean-up crews immediately after the race, and the Putney BID has done some tremendous work in organising all these reusable cups so that Putney’s pubs don’t need to serve drinks in single use plastics – but we also need rowing fans to play their part too and work with us to protect our environment.”

A Hubbub spokesperson said: “If people want to go the extra mile they can join local litter picking groups. And it’s always good to be aware of tidy littering.

“Our advice for at the race would be to make sure you use bins provided, don’t put anything in overflowing bins, try not to buy food in polystyrene containers and bring your own water bottle instead of buying one. Also avoid taking flyers and things that may get dropped on the ground.”

Volunteers from Putney Tidy Towpath will be running a clean-up effort Sunday afternoon, to get involved visit the website.

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