VIDEO: Oval environmentalists collect 2.3 tonnes of waste and transform area

Environmentalists in Oval have collected tonnes of litter from parks and playgrounds and are now starting to impact long term change.

South London Litter Action (SOLLA) have been collecting litter in Oval every Saturday morning for the last ten months and have now collected 2.3 tonnes of waste.

The group has made a lasting change in Oval, as fly tipping and litter in general have become less prevalent in the area.

Harriet Isles led environmentalists South London Litter Action (SOLLA) on a litter picking mission to clean up Oval

SOLLA founder and organiser Harriet Isles said: “My ultimate dream for SOLLA is to see this kind of group replicated in every single London borough. 

“I want millions, not just hundreds of people to be affected by what we do.

“There are such palpable benefits to what we’re doing at the moment.”

SOLLA was routinely clearing litter from the same gravel pits each week, so residents decided to create allotments inside the gravel pits to stop litter piling up.

Harriet explained that these allotments have successfully reduced litter build up.

The group also completely cleared an alleyway that was a hotbed for fly tipping and got the council to put up signs discouraging illegal dumping, which has resolved the problem.

Isles explained the group also functions as a social platform, as it helps stave off feelings of isolation in London and decreases volunteers’ eco-anxiety.

She said: “We provide such a cohesive social platform for people who don’t want to be drinking, who don’t want to be going out in the evenings. 

“It’s a really lovely alternative way of socialising and finding people of like-minded passion for the environment.”

SOLLA’s mission is timely, as research carried out by the Cleaner Counties Project showed that litter levels increased in 2020 and reports of fly tipping went up by 300%.

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