#PlasticPatrol

By | Category: Travel rumblings
cartoon of angry suitcase

What will it take to stop people littering? © Dan Sperrin

This is the last week of a three week concentration to clear inland waterways of plastic pollution.

Like oceans, beaches and our communities, there is an amount larger than you would think of plastic being dumped and whilst many beaches persuade volunteers to clear beaches of litter before the summer season starts properly, canals and waterways sometimes get overlooked.

#PlasticPatrol is a nationwide attempt in England to clean-up events in towns and cities across the country including Coventry, Gloucester, London, Nottingham, Rochdale, Sheffield and Walsall. At the same time as helping to clear out the litter, volunteers can also take part in various free sessions that have been arranged for them to enjoy the waterways as well. So far some 2019 bags of plastic litter has been collected so far.

Earlier this year some 12,000 tonnes of plastic was cleared from just one beach in the Indian city of Mumbai. Each year, Surfers Against Sewage organise the annual Big Spring Beach Clean which removes tonnes of plastic yet the amount of plastic still seems to be constant.

Admittedly this year there is heightened awareness due to Sir David Attenborough and some of the images of plastic damaging marine life that he showed in Blue Planet II. Since then both the BBC and Sky have fronted campaigns to raise awareness yet still people seem to through plastic away without even thinking of disposing of it in recycling or even litter bins.

This week the government released its first annual report since it launched its litter strategy for England. Fines have been increased yet people still litter. Why? Do these people live in pigstys and care not a jot for how dirty it is? Are their insufficient bins? With government and media stories this year few can be aware that there is a problem so why do people continue to throw plastics and other litter away?

Whilst #PlasticPatrol, Surfers Against Sewage and others work hard to remove litter the problem is that litter louts still do it and nothing the government or experts have considered so far seems to deter them.

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