London’s Bow Back Rivers get a ‘Green Clean’

21 September 2018

The London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is working with volunteers in east London as part of a nationwide clean-up of precious green spaces this September, in anticipation of the introduction of a deposit return system for drinks containers.

Join us at the View Tube at 9.30am on Sunday 23 September to clean up litter hotspots around the Bow Back and Lea Rivers, near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Environmental campaigners CPRE London are delighted to be working with local volunteers as part of a nationwide Green Clean initiative which will highlight the huge volume of bottles and cans that litter many of our most precious green spaces.

Neil Sinden from CPRE London said:

‘Drink-related litter is a major problem in London. It’s great to have the opportunity to take part in this nationwide campaign to draw attention to the impact of discarded drinks containers which detract so much from the beauty and enjoyment of green spaces and waterways across the capital. We are grateful for all the volunteers participating in this litter-pick which we hope will be one of the last to reveal the extent of this problem.’

Charles Dean from the Friends of Bow Back Rivers said:

‘We are very pleased to work in partnership with CPRE and local volunteers on this litter pick. As a local community group we want to improve the quality of the environment along these important London waterways for the benefit of those who live by, work near or use the river systems for recreation. Events like this have a double benefit – cleaning up heavily littered areas and raising awareness of the need to tackle plastic waste pollution.’

After 10 years of campaigning, the Government announcement that England is to have a deposit return system earlier this year was a huge environmental win for CPRE in its fight against bottles and cans which litter green spaces in town and country. Similar systems around the world boost recycle rates as high as 97%.

Yet while we wait for the scheme to be put in place, England’s green spaces remain awash with empty bottles and cans, causing serious harm to our natural environment and wildlife. So throughout September CPRE is mobilising its network to encourage litter pickers to clear up our green spaces as part of its nationwide ‘Green Clean’. The aim is to collect as much rubbish as possible, and experience the green spaces we all want to see, before we have a deposit system that will prevent them from becoming littered with cans and bottles ever again.

As well as collecting litter, CPRE Green Cleaners will record the quantity and type of litter they find. The information recorded will help deliver innovative solutions to England’s litter problem by increasing recycling and changing behaviours to reduce litter levels further.

You can sign up for the Bow Backs River Green Clean here

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