Harefield Gazette - - OUT & ABOUT -

VIS­I­TORS to the Pos­i­tively Put­ney Sum­mer Party and the Great River Race, London’s river marathon, on Septem­ber 8 found a fish­mon­ger’s stall with a dif­fer­ence.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Hub­bub‘s ‘Catch of the Day’ dis­played the “fresh­est” plas­tic and un­usual rub­bish fished from the River Thames.

The colour­ful stall, com­plete with a cheeky fish­mon­ger and scuba diver, was set up to make the 330 crews from around the globe tak­ing part and the thou­sands of spec­ta­tors on the day think twice about how they dis­pose of their lit­ter.

Catch of the Day is part of the For Fish’s Sake (#FFSLDN) cam­paign to raise aware­ness of how lit­ter in our wa­ter­ways is harm­ing ma­rine life both in the river and out at sea.

The is­sue of plas­tic pol­lu­tion in our oceans is now well known, but closer to home the Thames is home to 125 species of fish and up to 75% of floun­der in the river have been found to have in­gested plas­tic.

For Fish’s Sake has been brought to Put­ney, South West London by Hub­bub in part­ner­ship with Wandsworth Coun­cil, Pos­i­tively Put­ney and Port of London Author­ity. The cam­paign is call­ing on peo­ple who live, work or visit the River Thames and other wa­ter­ways in the UK to help stem the flow of lit­ter. The cam­paign was pi­loted last year and re­duced river­side lit­ter in the test area around London Bridge by 32%. Here’s what you can do:

Use the bin – not the gut­ter, not the river, not the pave­ment

If you see some lit­ter and you’re near a bin – pick it up

If the bin is full, find an­other one or take your lit­ter home

Gavin El­lis, co-founder and di­rec­tor of Hub­bub said: “In London alone, 300 tonnes of rub­bish are cleared from the Thames each year; 80% of this has trav­elled from land, from our hands and it ends up harm­ing ma­rine life both here and out at sea.

“The Thames is en­joyed by so many – from the fam­i­lies en­joy­ing walks to­gether to house­boat own­ers, from peo­ple who work on the Thames to row­ing clubs. With this cam­paign, we aim to make it fun and easy for as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to take really sim­ple ac­tions, which can make a huge dif­fer­ence.”

Lend­ing his support to the cam­paign, Bri­tish Rower and triple Olympic Gold Medal­list and quadru­ple World Cham­pion An­drew Triggs-Hodge said: “Lit­ter in the river is a huge prob­lem, whether it is lit­ter blown on from the street or sewage de­rived lit­ter.

“As a rower, I have spent much of my life train­ing and com­pet­ing on water, in­clud­ing the River Thames. It’s sad to see wa­ter­ways lit­tered with rub­bish like plas­tic and the neg­a­tive im­pact it has on the wildlife.

“Our rivers and canals are beau­ti­ful liv­ing en­vi­ron­ments and we all have a duty to look af­ter them and pro­tect them. I’m proud to support and em­power so­cial change in this area; I’m even prouder when I pick up a bit of lit­ter and bin it.”

Catch of the Day is one of many eye-catch­ing and en­gag­ing ini­tia­tives brought to Put­ney, South West London, where vot­ing lit­ter bins, ‘grate art’ and colour­ful posters are grac­ing the Thames Path as For Fish’s Sake aims to help stem the flow of lit­ter into that part of the River Thames in a play­ful and pow­er­ful way.

Cllr St­effi Sut­ters, cabinet mem­ber for com­mu­nity ser­vices and open spa­ces, Wandsworth Coun­cil said: “Put­ney river­side is a beau­ti­ful part of London and peo­ple en­joy com­ing here all year round. I’m de­lighted that #FFSLDN is in our part of the capital and it is good to see lo­cals and vis­i­tors get be­hind the cam­paign to make it a suc­cess in Put­ney so it can be rolled out to other parts of the UK.”

Ni­cola Grant, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Pos­i­tively Put­ney Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District said; “It is very im­por­tant to lo­cal busi­nesses that Put­ney looks clean and tidy.

“The River Thames is such an im­por­tant part of Put­ney town cen­tre’s char­ac­ter and there­fore we are very happy to support this ini­tia­tive to re­duce lit­ter and to pro­tect the river.”

Hub­bub has been cho­sen as the char­ity part­ner of the Great River Race. £1 from the sale of ev­ery Great River Race Pro­gramme will go to­wards Hub­bub’s work to re­duce lit­ter in UK wa­ter­ways.

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