News & Events

River Clean-Up with Thames 21


Not sure what to do at the weekend? Looking to learn a lot about plastic pollution in our rivers and how we can help? Why not join charity Thames 21 and complete a riverside clean-up? That’s exactly what I did with my family on Sunday 3rd February. We set out early in the morning to reach Grays by train. When we arrived, we met our Thames 21 guide and were fully equipped with wellies, warm clothes, rubber gloves and mechanical arms or “pinches” to allow us to safely grasp the rubbish washed up on the banks of the Thames.

Nine of us spent 90 minutes with our knowledgeable Thames 21 organiser picking up litter from the beaches in Grays. Surprisingly, we found everything from bottle caps, sachet packaging, lighters, polystyrene, plastic bags, straws, toys and lollipop sticks, shoes and literally hundreds of plastic Q-tip sticks. We filled 22 bin bags of plastic waste including the shocking number of 139 single-use plastic bottles. Thames 21 believe that most of the plastic continues down the river into the sea and only a small proportion gets washed up on the banks.

We learned that rivers and waterways need to be cleaned up but more importantly that we need to reduce plastic waste. Change the way materials are made, consumed and disposed of: paper Q-tip sticks! Paper straws! Less packaging! Less plastic bottles! More recycling! Thames 21 is trying to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans, you can help them! It is a fun and educational outing for anyone over 6. Check out their website uk/.

Maya (Y6)


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