Be Richmond Volunteers Clear Half a Tonne of Plastic/Litter from Thames

Be Richmond Volunteers Clear Half a Tonne of Plastic/Litter from Thames

Volunteers from Richmond businesses, residents, charities and the homeless community take part in Be Richmond ‘Get on Board’ Event.

All plastic/litter collected will be used to generate green energy – nothing to landfill.

Event covered by TV News.

On Thursday September 9th, over 220 people from all sections of the Richmond community including businesses, residents, charities, local councils, and members of the homeless community cleared an estimated half a tonne of plastic and other litter from the Thames and surrounding towpaths between Kew Bridge and Twickenham. All the waste collected will be used to generate green energy. Nothing will go to landfill.

Organised by Be Richmond and titled ‘Get on Board – Say No to Plastic Pollution’, the main purpose of the activity was to highlight the problem of single use plastic in our waterways.

Watch the Get on Board official video

See TV news coverage below.

Be Richmond manager, Ellen Amorina Storrar said:

“This was a hugely successful event. Plastic pollution of our oceans is a huge global issue. We know that most of the plastic in the oceans is originally discarded into rivers and the situation in the Thames is getting worse. By clearing our stretch of the Thames, Richmond has shown what is possible when the whole community works together. We are so proud of the efforts of our volunteers.”

An estimated 110 paddle boarders cleared plastic and rubbish from the Thames and connecting waterways between Kew Bridge and Richmond.

Local historical and environmental charity, Habitats & Heritage, led by CEO Colin Cooper, organised around 120 litter picking volunteers to clear towpaths on both sides of the river between Twickenham and Kew Bridge. Among the volunteers were people from the homeless community led by Shepherd’s Star, a Richmond charity dedicated to relieving poverty, hardship and social exclusion. Involvement in community projects helps people in crisis build self-confidence, develop skills and reignite individual potential.

Also taking part were Richmond council leader Gareth Roberts on the water and Mayor, Geoff Acton, on the towpath.

At the post-event reception at Gaucho, only bamboo plates and wooden cutlery were used, thus reinforcing the  no single-use plastic message.

It was the third running of Get on Board following successful river clean ups in 2018 and 2019. The planned 2020 event had to be cancelled because of Covid.

Four Richmond businesses sponsored the event, including main sponsor PK Group, and official sponsors Minesoft, The Source Bulk Foods and Foot Solutions.

Plastic Facts

Most people are now aware of the terrible plastic pollution in our oceans, and it’s widely accepted that 90% of this pollution comes from 10 Asian and African rivers.

However, the problem of plastic contamination of river systems is much closer to home.

According to the Port of London Authority, plastic debris is now the most common form of rubbish found on the Thames and most of that plastic has only been used once.

A 2020 study by charity Thames21 titled ‘Plastic Pollution in The Tidal Thames’, reported a discernible increase in plastic consumer items and packaging in the river, with single-use plastic items making up 83% of all counted items.

Just five items represent nearly two-thirds of all plastic found. These are: food wrappers, cotton bud sticks, drink bottles and their lids, cups, and takeaway containers.

Research by Bangor University found 84.1 pieces of micro-plastic per litre of water in the Thames and another study by the University of London and the Natural History Museum found that more than a quarter of fish in the Thames Estuary are eating plastic.

Other News Like This

Richmond Businesses Vote YES in BID Ballot

In a widely publicised independent postal ballot held over a 4 week period, Richmond businesses have decisively voted YES for a further 5 years of Be Richmond, the brand persona of the Richmond Business Improvement District (BID).

Read More
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – What does it mean for High Street businesses?

Find out how the recently announced Business Rates revaluation might affect you.

Read More
Festive Fun and Fireworks for Richmond Lights Switch On

Thousands of people were treated to a day of festive entertainment in Richmond on November 21st to mark the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

Read More
New Anti-Viral Deep Cleansing in Richmond Town Centre

Following recent media reports of a rise in the weekly rate of coronavirus cases in the borough*, businesses in Richmond town centre are funding a new programme of regular deep cleansing of people-facing surfaces in the town with an anti-COVID-19 viricidal disinfectant spray.

Read More

About Richmond

Richmond is an affluent residential district bordering the River Thames. Tranquil Kew Gardens attracts botanical enthusiasts and families with its huge Arboretum, 17th-century Kew Palace, and panoramic views from its Treetop Walkway. Herds of deer roam Richmond Park, a popular picnic spot. The Quadrant main street and nearby roads have eclectic shops, casual and upscale dining, and performances at Richmond Theatre.