Rubbish Roundup 8th June
Rubbish Roundup 8th June
This week’s roundup starts in Wales, where Keep Wales Tidy has voiced concerns about an increase in PPE litter on pavements and in parks across the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The charity said that at the beginning of the lockdown, there was a reduction in the amount of litter but sadly, food packaging and cigarette litter has been replaced by disposable gloves and masks.
A spokesperson for Keep Wales Tidy said that the litter poses a threat to wildlife and public health and local litter groups have said that despite hoping that people would look after their local area better, the increase in PPE litter is ‘very disappointing.’
Next we head to Stevenage, where an 8-year-old girl has spent her time in lockdown leading a local conservation group which has collected more than 14 bags of litter from the town in the past month.
With the help of her mum, 8–year–old Molly set up Earth Guardians Stevenage UK, an environmental group that works on local projects aimed at protecting the environment, animals, and people in the local community. She is a nature lover who got into wanting to protect the environment after learning about the impact of ocean pollution at school. She did her first weekly litter pick at the start of May and joined forces with 10 other volunteers.
On to Devon, where the warm weather has had some unfortunate side effects for the beaches. After a sunny weekend last week, beaches in Devon were left covered in litter and even human waste as thousands of people flocked to the coast after the lockdown was eased.
Council staff were left horrified at the amount of litter left behind, which was enough to fill 500 wheelie bins. Among the waste there were glass bottles, disposable barbecue trays, and even human waste.
Teignbridge District Council tweeted about their dismay and pleaded with people to respect the area and take their litter home.
The council’s recycling boss said that waste and recycling teams have been working flat out to keep on top of the extra rubbish on top of the pressures they are already under because of the coronavirus. He added that people’s actions were completely unacceptable.
Another councillor voiced concerns that people had flocked to the beach and paid no attention to social distancing.
Devon’s beaches weren’t the only ones to be impacted by the combination of the easing of lockdown restrictions and the scorching weather.
100 sacks of litter were collected from Southport beach last Sunday, and pictures emerged of litter strewn over beaches in Brighton, Dorset, and Galway.
Finally, we head to Northampton, where a new anti-litter campaign is set to launch this summer. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to take responsibility for their own rubbish, whether they are at home or out and about in town.
The campaign follows an increase in litter in the town’s parks after the recent spell of hot weather. The litter was cleaned up by volunteers, but the council is keen to reinforce the need for everyone to take responsibility.
Local councillor Mike Hallam commented that the majority of residents dispose of their rubbish responsibly but said that the actions of a selfish minority spoil the streets, parks, and open spaces for everyone else. He added that this has an impact on wellbeing and on crime.
The council has called for people to do their bit and take their litter home with them, especially now as the lockdown is easing.
The campaign has two hashtags; #myparkisyourpark and #mystreetisyourstreet, and people who put their rubbish in the bin are encouraged to take anti-litter selfies and share them on social media.
The council says it wants people to ‘be the change they want to see’ by taking their rubbish home and reporting littering.