Monday, 23 May 2022
MORE than 50 people took part in a river clean-up organised by Henley Rotary Club.
Members were joined by the Henley Mermaids, members of Henley Rowing Club, Henley sea cadets and paddle-boarders and kayakers at Sunday’s event.
They met outside the River & Rowing Museum in Mill Meadows before setting off in small groups along the River Thames to collect rubbish.
The designated stretch was from Shiplake lock to Hurley and in five hours the volunteers collected more than 15 bags of waste, including plastic bottles, wrappers and cans.
There were also bigger items, including a child’s bicycle and a plastic slide.
Rotarian Phil Fletcher said: “We organised this river clean-up to get as many people and as many clubs as possible involved.
“The idea is to raise awareness about not throwing rubbish into the river and teaching people that if you leave rubbish pretty much everywhere, it ends up in the river — and we think it is working. The point was to get the community involved and it was very successful.” Fellow Rotarian Maria Bunina said: “We found a huge amount of smashed bottles at Mill Meadows and those are very dangerous for children and dogs.
“It’s very disappointing when you realise people don’t really have respect for the river.
“The worst problem is the pollution from disposable plastic and that is what we are trying to help with. We want people to understand that they can have a good time along the river but then they need to take their rubbish home.”
Gloves and bags were provided by environment charity Surfers Against Sewage while additional bags and litter pickers were provided by South Oxfordshire District Council, the waste authority.
The event was organised as part of End Plastic Soup, a global initiative already supported of hundreds of Rotary Clubs worldwide.
The goal is to prevent plastic waste getting into the sea, lakes and rivers as well as forests and parks by 2050.
11 May 2022
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