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Come Forth and Treasure Your River

13 May 2021

We are delighted to be part of a the new campaign, Treasure Your River, which launched on 13 May. The campaign will help reduce the huge amount of litter entering the River Forth and subsequently the sea. We are working with Hubbub to call for businesses, community groups, residents and other organisations situated along the River Forth and its estuary – from Stirling, down to Edinburgh and along the Fife and East Lothian coastline - to get involved.

The campaign will run over the next six months and the programme of activities includes visiting robot boats and a recycled fishing for litter punt, an exciting art installation and litter surveys and clean up activity.

Organisations across the UK, including the Angling Trust, Scottish Canals, Canal & River Trust, Keep Wales Tidy, Mersey Rivers Trust, Sustainable Hive, Thames 21, The Rivers Trust and companies like Coca-Cola and Costa have already pledged to do their bit.  Now, in Scotland we are on the look-out for volunteers to support the campaign.

In 2019, Hubbub’s polling1 found that 75% of UK adults wanted to do more to help tackle marine litter. After a year of lockdown people’s appreciation of nature has risen further and Treasure Your River will provide more opportunities for people around the UK to get involved and help protect our rivers and seas. Treasure Your River will engage the public on how they can make a difference through simple changes such as taking their rubbish home with them, providing tools and guidance for litter picks and responsible disposal of fishing tackle. As well as tackling littering behaviour with eye-catching bins and activities, the campaign aims to create a legacy for each river, with an army of regular volunteers and litter-clearing infrastructure.    

 

Barry Fisher, our CEO said, “We’re delighted to be working with Hubbub to bring ‘Treasure Your River’ to the communities along the River Forth. This exciting campaign complements our source-to-sea litter activity on other iconic Scottish rivers.  Our data shows that we are facing a litter emergency in Scotland, and with 80% of marine litter coming from land, often via our waterways, we are looking forward to collaborating with others across the UK to tackle this global issue.

“Increasing awareness of lockdown litter levels have galvanised action across Scotland and we have seen an upsurge in positive activity as people pledge to litter pick the places they love – now we’re eager to build on this by supporting those living and working along the Forth to unite with others to take collective action to stop litter entering the sea via the river and its tributaries.”

 

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-founder of Hubbub said “As lockdown restrictions are lifted there is increased concern about the amount of litter in our public and green spaces. Treasure Your River aims to make the connection between litter in our towns and cities and plastic in the oceans, and to offer people something positive they can do about it. The majority of plastics in the oceans are carried there by rivers; the River Mersey for example has proportionately higher levels of microplastic pollution than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We invite any individual or organisations along these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a local business, a sailing club, a school, a charity or a resident.”  

 

Treasure Your River aims to be the UK’s largest ever collaborative effort to prevent and reduce the amount of litter in our waterways, tackling six of the UK’s largest river systems: the Avon, Forth, Mersey, Severn, Thames and Trent and their tributaries. The campaign is being run by environmental charity Hubbub with funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation. It will initially focus on preventing litter from entering the rivers and clean-up activities in seven major cities based on these rivers and the waterways that flow into them – Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Nottingham, which between them are home to 1 in 6 of the UK population. 

 

Check out our Treasure Your River webpage for more details. 

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