Something fishy: charity highlights extent of plastic pollution in the Thames

Environmental 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 Thames.

Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub, Gavin Ellis, highlighted the problem of litter in the Thames for everyone living in London.

He said: “The river is central to the health, wealth and wellbeing of Londoners, therefore it’s in all of our interests to keep it as clean as possible.”

Mr Ellis explained that the issue should resonate with the people of Wandsworth since 300 tonnes of waste is cleared from the Thames annually and 75% of its fish are found to have plastic in their gut.

The colourful stand, made to look like a real fishmonger, was part of Hubbub’s second initiative, launched in August, to raise awareness of the amount of plastic that has to be removed from the London’s waterways each month.

COD DO BATTER: Litter from Putney Embankment on display at Hubbub’s little fishmonger stall.

The freshly picked litter on display included children’s dummies, cigarette butts and lighters, flipflops, reading glasses and old telephones.

Wandsworth Council’s environment spokesman Steffi Sutters said: “Putney riverside is a beautiful part of London that’s enjoyed by hundreds of people every day. Sadly though, some leave litter behind without thinking about the consequences for the river and further out into our oceans.”

She added: “I’m delighted that #FFSLDN is coming to our part of the capital and hope that locals get behind the campaign to protect and preserve their stretch of the Thames.”

This project comes a year after the environmental charity’s first successful campaign of the same type which took place near London Bridge in 2017, where litter has since reduced by 32%.

The success of the campaigns has inspired even more creative ideas from the charity who are now offering River Thames fishing trips on a boat made of 99% recycled materials.

This scheme called the ‘PET Project’ will lead plastic fishing trips for schools and corporate volunteers in a bid to showcase the reality of the city’s plastic problem.

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