Saturday, 23 January 2021

Volunteers fill 10 bin bags with rubbish in two hours

Volunteers fill 10 bin bags with rubbish in two hours

VOLUNTEERS helped clear streets and parks in Henley of waste including flip-flops, computer parts and even used nappies.

More than 20 people, including several children, spent about two hours walking around the town with bin bags and litter pickers on Thursday last week.

They were split into two groups, one which patrolled streets in the town centre while the other tidied Mill Meadows and parts of the Thames towpath.

They managed to fill about 10 bin bags with the rubbish they found. The most common items included plastic bottles and cigarette butts.

The event was organised by anti-plastic campaigner Julia Carey, of Reading Road, Henley, and interior designer Lynne Lambourne, from Peppard to raise awareness of the amount of litter in the town.

The bin liners, pickers and reflective vests were provided by South Oxfordshire District Council and the bags of rubbish were collected by the council’s contractor Biffa this week.

Mrs Carey, who took part despite being nine months pregnant, said: “I’m very pleased with the turnout. It was definitely worth it for an hour or so of our time and it was great to have lots of young people.

“We will definitely be doing more throughout the year.

“We did Greys Road and King’s Road car parks, Mill Lane, New Street, the River & Rowing Museum and along the river.

“Lynne took some down to the park and I stuck around the town centre with a few others. The cigarette butts are just crazy. We need to think of something to do to stop people from dropping them.”

Ms Lambourne said: “We thought it would be nice for the caring people of the community to get together and do a litter-pick, which is quite sociable.

“We went down to Mill Meadows and there was an alarming amount of litter. The undergrowth was recently cut back and revealed lots of disposable barbecues, plastic bottles, wine bottles and all sorts of stuff.”

Ms Lambourne said her volunteers also collected balls, belts, frisbees and plastic toys which may have been discarded or lost during the summer. These will be be used by her children’s club Warriors on Waste to make pieces of art.

The club teaches children about upcycling, which involves turning waste or unwanted products into new items.

Ms Lambourne said: “Lots of children in the club have been on about organising a litter-pick and it’s nice for them to see what I keep talking about.

“We kept the weirder pieces and are going to make pieces of artwork with the things we collect.”

Mrs Carey, who runs her own jewellery business, used to organise beach clean-ups in Dover when she lived there as a teenager.

Last year she launched petitions calling on the town’s supermarkets to use less plastic packaging and introduce a plastic-free aisle for fresh produce like fruit or vegetables so people can take it away in their own bags or baskets. These collected 1,500 signatures.

Mrs Carey has also been working with the Henley Festival to reduce the amount of single-use plastic at the event. Last week, the Henley Standard revealed that the organisers would be bringing in fully recyclable plastic glasses at this year’s event iin July.

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