Annual Walk for WasteAid takes place in Manchester
WasteAid is running its fifth annual sponsored walk this Saturday (6 July) to raise funds to tackle the plastic waste crisis.
The walk will take place through the streets and canals of Manchester, starting at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, and finishing 25 kilometres later at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City. Food for participants will be supplied by Open Kitchen MCR, a food waste catering company.
WasteAid has been granted UK Aid Match, meaning that all donations made by 31 July will be doubled by the UK government, up to £2 million.
The money raised will go towards developing a recycling training centre in the coastal city of Doula in Cameroon. With no waste collection, plastic piles up in the streets and riverbeds, accumulating in the Cameroon estuary, a biodiversity hotspot, before washing into the sea.
WasteAid will therefore train disadvantaged women, young people and people with disabilities to create useful products from this discarded plastic, empowering the community to prevent pollution by turning their waste into economic opportunity. By teaching easily replicable recycling techniques, the WasteAid training programme will create green jobs, allowing people living in poverty to support both themselves and their environment.
WasteAid’s plastic specialist Pierre Kamsouloum, who grew up in Cameroon and developed an innovative way of creating paving bricks out of plastic carrier bags and sand, said: “This programme will build on my own personal experience of innovating to turn plastic bags into paving tiles.
“Recycling plastic has helped me out of poverty, and I am very happy to share these skills to help other young people.”
Widening the Net
The sponsored walk is part of the charity’s Widening the Net appeal, which was launched in May with support from UK Aid Match. Waste management company and funding partner Biffa joined WasteAid for the launch of their appeal in Brighton, where the charity constructed a beach hut made from plastic ‘eco-bricks’.
Since the appeal began on 1 May, supporters have taken part in a range of fundraising activities, including bake-offs and the Three Peaks Challenge. The Walk for WasteAid is the largest fundraising event, with last year’s walk raising over £10,000.
Zoë Lenkiewicz, Head of Programmes and Engagement at WasteAid, said: “The sense of togetherness and resilience in Manchester makes it the perfect choice for this year’s Walk for WasteAid.
“We are raising awareness about ending global plastic pollution by sharing skills with people around the world who live in poverty. In doing so, we are helping communities become self-sufficient and environmentally-friendly, which ultimately benefits us all.
“We’re grateful to our sponsors, Biffa and Dsposal, and to Manchester City Council, the Science and Industry Museum, and the football clubs of Manchester United and Manchester City for their hospitality.”
Anyone can join the walk to show support for WasteAid, with the event beginning at 9.30am on Saturday next to the statues outside Old Trafford stadium.
You can donate to the Widening the Net appeal via the WasteAid website.