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Ray T

CANAL & RIVER TRUST LAUNCHES WATERWAYS PLASTICS CHALLENGE

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press release

Embargoed until 00:01 on Wednesday 5th June 2019

 

Video, photos and reports are available

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/978udkarja2ux4e/AADTte2ZhX-rP4Mt7o7FW8CJa?dl=0

 

 

CANAL & RIVER TRUST LAUNCHES WATERWAYS PLASTICS CHALLENGE

 

Call to ‘act local’ to stop plastics entering the UK’s rivers and canals & ending up in the world’s oceans

 

·         New research states that more than half a million items of plastic reach the oceans from the charity’s canals and rivers every year (1)

·         Charity says that if every visitor picked up and recycled just one piece of plastic each time they visit, the canals and rivers could be plastic free in a year (2)

·         Charity spends over £1 million a year to help keep its waterways free of plastics and other discarded waste

 

Canal & River Trust, the waterways and wellbeing charity that cares for 2,000 miles of canals and river navigations in England and Wales, has published research about the volume of plastics and litter found in its waterways.

 

The charity is today (June 5th) urging communities to take action on their doorstep to make their local neighbourhood beautiful and help tackle the global plastics crisis – don’t drop it, pick it up and recycle it to help make the nation’s canals and rivers plastics free.

 

Working with Coventry University, the charity has published a detailed analysis of the plastics and other litter found in its waterways.  The research, which reviewed data from 25 locations, found that plastics now account for 59% of waste found along its canals.  It estimates that 570,000 items of plastic reach the world’s oceans each year via its waterways. With the help of local communities this figure could be drastically cut.

 

Peter Birch, national environmental policy advisor at Canal & River Trust, says: “By taking a little care of their local waterway, everyone can have beauty on their doorstep.  The Canal & River Trust is on a mission to eradicate plastics from our vast network of canals and rivers – helping us all to live in better, more beautiful neighbourhoods, whilst tackling a global issue, and making life better by water.”

 

Studies show that around 80% of the plastics and litter found in our oceans comes from inland waste that passes through water-courses around the world and out to sea. (3)

 

Peter adds: “Devastatingly, despite being vital green corridors in the nation’s towns and cities, our canals and rivers can inadvertently act as ‘plastics highways’, transporting rubbish from where we live out to sea. Not only is this a huge problem for wildlife, which can be harmed, it also detracts from these special and important wellbeing places in our towns and cities. We believe everyone deserves – and can help create - beauty on their doorstep, and by taking action locally, they will also be helping tackle a global issue.”

 

As canals and rivers become more accessible – over four million people visit them every two weeks – and with almost one in five people admitting to dropping litter, a lot of this can unfortunately end up in our waterways. The vast majority of the litter found along and in the canals each year is potentially recyclable or could be re-used in creative and innovative ways. (4/5/6)

 

The Trust is calling on every visitor to its waterways to make their own small contribution to help keep them clear of plastics, whether by picking up and recycling a piece each time they visit, joining the Trust’s growing band of volunteers, or even adopting a short stretch of their local canal with friends, neighbours or colleagues.  The Trust, which is supporting Defra’s Year of Green Action working with #iwill4nature encouraging youth environmental action, has also published a downloadable free family plastics and litter activity pack which highlights to children the importance of taking action to prevent it.

 

Richard Parry, chief executive of Canal & River Trust, says: “We know that life is better by water and more people than ever appreciate the benefits of spending time alongside our waterways, right at the heart of thousands of communities across the country.  Plastic and litter free canals are beautiful, inspiring places for people to enjoy, whether for everyday use or a one-off visit, whilst also being hugely important habitats for some of the nation’s much loved and endangered species. Help us tackle a global issue by taking action on your doorstep today.”

 

To find out how you can help support Canal & River Trust’s Plastics Challenge and to read the research report, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/get-involved or follow us on social media @CanalRiverTrust  #PlasticsChallenge

 

 

-ends-

 

 

For further media requests please contact:

Melanie Chilton, marketing & campaigns manager

m 07789 178 506 e [email protected]

 

 

  • Greenie 2

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Good initiative.

......but are people really going to pick up a bit of plastic and take it home?

There are not that many bins around to put waste in ...and a casual visitor is not going to be able to find one. Disposal of waste is getting more and more difficult with household collections being restricted to 2 or 4 weeks ....and limited amounts.... Plastic can go into the recycle bin but are people really going to take it home?

I think the new initiative at Waitrose (on the Telly last night) to sell stuff loose is a good idea. 

  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

are people really going to pick up a bit of plastic and take it home?

They do on beaches where there are no bins

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Are coconuts of plastic derivative?  Enough of them in parts of the Coventry Canal.

 

Also some of the urban areas the Coventry Canal goes through the residents are somewhat less than caring, how do you ever educate them?

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I take any and all trash i find off the towpath or wherever I happen to be. I hate litter. Having said that... I find it a little rich how they ask me to 'act local' as they push me along constantly with the looming threat of having my licence revoked.

  • Greenie 1

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10 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I think the new initiative at Waitrose (on the Telly last night) to sell stuff loose is a good idea. 

There was an active campaign 20 years or so ago that got people to remove all unnecessary packaging at the supermarket checkouts, and leave it on the checkout for the shop to dispose of.

 

It took about a month (time for the supermarkets to realise what was happening plus one distribution chain cycle) before the big supermarkets reduced the amount of unnecessary packaging from their product lines, but it has been creeping back in gradually over the years and is now as bad as ever.

Edited by TheBiscuits

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Here's an initiative for CRT. Install more recycling bins in waste compounds and more recycling would take place. More often than not, our bags of collected recycling has to be put in 'ordinary waste bins. 

 

This is is a case of left and right hand not knowing etc?

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11 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Here's an initiative for CRT. Install more recycling bins in waste compounds and more recycling would take place. More often than not, our bags of collected recycling has to be put in 'ordinary waste bins. 

 

This is is a case of left and right hand not knowing etc?

I agree. There are few CRT rubbish places to put recycle. Ours all goes in the waste bins.

Some councils however have rubbish sorting at the waste depots so they do get recycle stuff out of the black bag waste........but not that many so a lot of our waste (including plastic) is going to landfill at huge cost to the council tax payer.

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24 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Here's an initiative for CRT. Install more recycling bins in waste compounds and more recycling would take place.

Every single recycling point I see at CRT facilities say "no black bags" "glass and plastic bottles only" on the recycling bin, but are usually half full of black bags and mixed waste.

 

I'm fairly sure that it's not CRT management coming round and filling the bins with general boat waste.

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I suspect this is just a bit of opportunistic marketing from an "office based" organisation. Will CRT actually do anything to make it happen?. Most bottles are actually in the water, will visitors want to pick a dirty wet bottle out of the water and carry it home? Many of the dog poo bins are burst and overflowing. Most bridge holes contain a pile of scrap metal that the magnet fishers have kindly removed from the water but CRT can not find a way to collect it.

 

Some proper organised litter picks would be a good day out, maybe supported by a workboat/hopper to collect the rubbish. Several volunteers are CRT approved helmsmen....trouble is CRT have got rid of most of their boats.

 

A few years ago we did Walsall, using shopping trollies to carry the collected rubbish, and at the end CRT met us with a truck to take it all away....it can be done.

 

...............Dave

8 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Every single recycling point I see at CRT facilities say "no black bags" "glass and plastic bottles only" on the recycling bin, but are usually half full of black bags and mixed waste.

 

I'm fairly sure that it's not CRT management coming round and filling the bins with general boat waste.

At Todmorden CRT had separate bins for glass bottles etc so I carefully sorted and recycled my rubbish, then the CRT man told me that the bins were not for recycling, they were just "recycling" the bins that they had lifted out of the canal :).

 

..............Dave

  • Greenie 1

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1 hour ago, Tasemu said:

I take any and all trash i find off the towpath or wherever I happen to be. I hate litter. Having said that... I find it a little rich how they ask me to 'act local' as they push me along constantly with the looming threat of having my licence revoked.

 

I find it a little rich that anyone resisting moving around should be allowed a boat on the canal without a mooring to keep it on.

 

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19 minutes ago, dmr said:

A few years ago we did Walsall, using shopping trollies to carry the collected rubbish, and at the end CRT met us with a truck to take it all away....it can be done.

Sneyd services yesterday ...

 

20190604_145403.jpg.2f910301da709aea7da1d187ee3e3203.jpg

 

22 minutes ago, dmr said:

At Todmorden CRT had separate bins for glass bottles etc so I carefully sorted and recycled my rubbish, then the CRT man told me that the bins were not for recycling, they were just "recycling" the bins that they had lifted out of the canal :)

Funny you should say that ...

20190604_145227.jpg.acca12a7b378f09d5e952d028f8b4e77.jpg

 

... That's the bin that was trying to trap the BCNS Explorer cruise in Walsall Town Basin, and Steve and Alan filled it up en route.

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59 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Here's an initiative for CRT. Install more recycling bins in waste compounds and more recycling would take place. More often than not, our bags of collected recycling has to be put in 'ordinary waste bins. 

 

This is is a case of left and right hand not knowing etc?

It doesnt work. They tried it at several locations. There were a full set at Thrupp when I ran Annies Tea room. They were always  stuffed full with anything in each bin and not recycled. Notices were displayed for a few weeks telling people to use them correctly or they would have to be removed as recycle companies wouldnt take them. They were removed.

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16 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I find it a little rich that anyone resisting moving around should be allowed a boat on the canal without a mooring to keep it on.

 

Not resisting anything, I enjoy it. I was just poking fun at their particular choice of words. :)

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The cool bit was the skin-on-frame boats and coracle next to the canoe.  I did ask if I could take them, but they belong to the boatbuilder on the moorings.

 

 

 

 

20190604_145411.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Someone dumped a car & a canoe ?

 

20190604_145403.jpg.2f910301da709aea7da1d187ee3e3203.jpg

Is the car the one lifted out the Bradley arm by the BCNS clean up...?

 

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1 hour ago, dmr said:

I suspect this is just a bit of opportunistic marketing from an "office based" organisation.

I suspect you're probbly right - it's a really fashionable trend at the moment and one that will get you loads of retweets and internet karma, so yeah lots of free publicity if you work the angle right. But just releasing a press release isn't going to get them that karma, they have to show they're working at doing something practical themselves. 

 

2 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Good initiative.

......but are people really going to pick up a bit of plastic and take it home?

Lots of people do. I pick up the easier bits and pieces when I'm out and about, mostly when out with the dog. We have local environmental groups some of which their main focus has become keeping/getting plastic out of the water ways. Once rubbish has blown into the water it becomes a much bigger job to get it out, you can't for example just send the local Brownie troop out wombling lest they start plopping into the canal, but there are people who do it voluntarily. Obviously not dropping the litter in the first place is the way to go, but if you are going to have a clean up sometimes the best way to do it is as a group, that way you can ensure everybody's safety, make a bigger impact, and it makes it worth while driving the rubbish to the nearest tip. 

 

Lizzie Carr has started her Plastic Patrol thing. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-47816490/plastic-patrol-i-ve-pulled-engines-out-of-the-water

 

https://plasticpatrol.co.uk

 

There is the big push on social media with the whole Trashtag thing, much as I hate the word trash I get the pun, and everybody love a # these days. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-47536861

 

https://www.boredpanda.com/trashtag-challenge-people-clean-surroundings/

 

And people are already doing it for the seas and oceans - so if CRT market this well then I see no reason why people won't get just as enthusiastic about litter picking around the canals, especially if they connection is made between litter in the canal becoming plastic islands in the oceans, but providing bins would bet a good start. 

 

Sea & Ocean projects 

https://www.sas.org.uk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-cornwall-44113070/a-display-of-beach-litter-has-been-put-up-at-a-busy-tourist-resort

https://www.projectaware.org

 

 

You never know someone might think up a mascot :D

 

 

iu.jpeg

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3 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Every single recycling point I see at CRT facilities say "no black bags" "glass and plastic bottles only" on the recycling bin, but are usually half full of black bags and mixed waste.

 

I'm fairly sure that it's not CRT management coming round and filling the bins with general boat waste.

I usually leave my glasses on  the bote.

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3 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Someone dumped a car & a canoe ?

 

20190604_145403.jpg.2f910301da709aea7da1d187ee3e3203.jpg

It might just be me but for some reason every link you post extends outside the normal text box, even as this one pictures you repost, very odd

 

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All I seem to hear these days is boaters whingeing about how CRT are not interested in them and do more for the people who choose to walk the towpath or anglers etc.

Of course this can apply to boaters if they wish to be involved but I see it far more as being aimed at those who take a walk along the towpath.

 

When we were in Whitby earlier in the year there was a litter picking station where you could grab a (used) plastic supermarket bag and a picker and take a stroll on the beach to fill the bag up and bring it back to the beach. It's a great idea and people were doing it.

If CRT started putting such stations along the canal they would either be in urbanareas where the litter pickers would go walkies in the first few hours or in the countryside where litter is minimal and all the boaters would be complaining about it being a waste of the licence money.

 

I see this as encouraging local dog walkers, anglers or other towpath users to take a plastic bag with them and use it. I know not everyone will do it but if a lot more did it would certainy improve things and if boaters took the bladeful with them after removing it from their weedhatch that would also be doing our bit

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16 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

I see this as encouraging local dog walkers, anglers or other towpath users to take a plastic bag with them and use it. I know not everyone will do it but if a lot more did it would certainy improve things and if boaters took the bladeful with them after removing it from their weedhatch that would also be doing our bit

Which can only be positive.  Also, the more publicity there is about the efforts people are going to in picking up litter, the more people might be encouraged to think about not dropping it in the first place.

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The canals are natural litter collectors. Any trash blown from roads/estates/playing fields close by the canals has a good chance of ending up in the cut.

 

CaRT idea that in a year the problem would be solved is rather fanciful as litter is dropped every day of the year, the supply is never ending until there are more bins provided.

 

Collecting trash, as I do, at every opportunity just means that there is a black bag on the roof of the boat until I get to somewhere to dispose of it correctly. It is not rocket science at all.

 

Dog walkers are some of the offenders to tackle. At one time there was dog poo on the cut which degraded in a few days/weeks. Now they put it into plastic bags and hang it on trees, throw into the hedge row or launch it in the cut where the plastic bag preserves the contents for a lot longer time.

 

The long journey starts with a small step of everyone doing their bit where and when they can.

  • Greenie 1

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