A new volunteer group has been set up in Louth to carry out river cleans, protecting local wildlife and helping to keep the canal litter-free. Last Saturday morning (September 28), Louth River Care held their first river clean event, undertaken as part of this year’s World Rivers Day celebration.
Eleven ‘litter heroes’ cleared 20 bags full of plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts, plastic wrappers, and other waste paraphernalia including three traffic cones, numerous strips of scrap metal, shoes, a bed sheet and two garden chairs.
The project is delivered by Keep Britain Tidy, in partnership with Anglian Water, and supported locally by the Louth Navigation Trust.
A Louth RiverCare spokesperson said: “All too often rubbish and litter is dumped along our waterways endangering wildlife, blocking rivers and streams, causing flooding and creating no-go areas for local people.
“RiverCare teams establish ownership of a stretch of their local watercourse and undertake activities including litter picking, removal of non-native species, survey and monitoring flora and fauna, and carrying out habitat management and restoration.
“Plastic pollution is often portrayed as an ‘ocean epidemic’. However, the truth is plastics are much more than a marine specific issue.
“Over 80 per cent of the plastic entering our marine environment comes from land-based sources and fresh-water run-off, proving there is a period of time where the items of litter pollute rivers before they are flushed into the ocean.
“Researchers recently stated that of the 8-12 million tonnes of plastic thought to be entering oceans globally, around four million tonnes of it originates from rivers.”
The spokesperson continued: “Many of the litter items identified along our waterways are left behind by river users, or arise from inappropriate waste management.
“Litter can include everyday items such as food packaging, straws, and plastic bottles, as well as industrial, fly tipped and dog waste.
“As well as being unsightly, these items present a risk to wildlife that may consume the objects or use them to build nests and homes
If you would like to join Louth RiverCare for a river clean, or to find out more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .