Lit­tle lit­ter su­per­hero

Parker, aged 4, dresses as The Flash for his own clean-up cru­sade

Daily Mail - - Brexit In Crisis - By Andy Dolan

SU­PER­MAN can fly. Spi­der-Man shoots webs from his wrists. But this four-year-old has the power to make lit­ter dis­ap­pear.

Parker Lawrie has spent hun­dreds of hours clear­ing his neigh­bour­hood after learning about how dis­carded plas­tic can harm wildlife.

Ac­com­pa­nied by his mother Chelsea Walla, he de­votes five hours a week to his task – while dress­ing as his favourite su­per­hero, The Flash.

The re­cep­tion pupil has even roped in friends and neigh­bours to join him on clean-ups in streets and parks near his home in Wal­sall, West Mid­lands.

Miss Walla, 30, said: ‘ He gets a huge sense of pride when he picks up lit­ter. I said to him “you’re a real hero”, and he just started wear­ing his Flash cos­tume be­cause he wants to do his best to save the an­i­mals.

‘When he sees how much rub­bish he’s col­lected, it makes him so happy. He’ll go out in all weath­ers.’

Show­ing the same pub­lic spirit as Parker, more than half a mil­lion vol­un­teers have signed up for the Great Bri­tish Spring Clean, or­gan­ised by Keep Bri­tain Tidy and backed by the Daily Mail. In to­tal, 529,454 peo­ple have pledged to join the cam­paign, which runs un­til April 23.

Miss Walla said: ‘ We’re really pleased to get be­hind the Great Bri­tish Spring Clean and sup­port the drive to clean up our towns and coun­try­side.

‘ Parker won’t rest un­til he’s cleaned up the whole coun­try.’

Miss Walla, a dog-walker who lives with Parker’s fa­ther, elec­tri­cian Jamie Lawrie, also 30, said her son first started col­lect­ing lit­ter for re­cy­cling after learning about the is­sue at school. The mother-of-one said: ‘I picked Parker up one day and he seemed a bit re­served. I asked him what was up and he said he’d learnt about lit­ter and what it did to an­i­mals.

‘He said that birds died from eat­ing plas­tic and as we were walk­ing back there was a lot of lit­ter on the street and he started try­ing to pick it up.

‘When we got home the first thing we did was to or­der a lit­ter-pick­ing stick, it ar­rived a few days later and we went straight out. He likes how Flash is fast ... he likes the idea of be­ing able to whizz round and pick stuff up in the blink of an eye.’ In ad­di­tion to back­ing the Spring Clean, the Mail has high­lighted how plas­tic bot­tles, bal­loons and straws pose an on­go­ing dan­ger to wildlife with its Turn The Tide On Plas­tic cam­paign.

An­i­mals can be trapped or cut by cans or bot­tles, or choked by plas­tic bags or elas­tic bands.

In Fe­bru­ary, the RSPCA warned that the num­ber of an­i­mals killed or in­jured by plas­tic lit­ter had hit an all-time high.

It was called out to 579 in­ci­dents in­volv­ing plas­tic rub­bish last year – up from 473 in 2015.

Fear­less: Parker picks up can while dressed as The Flash, left, and with mother Chelsea, above

What a haul: Parker poses with filled bags after a hard day’s work

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