Visitors to Putney greeted by array of plastic fished out from the Thames
Londoners were presented with an array of plastic objects found floating in the River Thames at events in the capital this weekend as part of an initiative to raise awareness of the impact of littering on rivers and waterways.
Environmental charity Hubbub’s campaign, For Fish’s Sake (#FFSLDN), which seeks to reduce litter and marine pollution in London, took a new angle on the traditional market scene by displaying an unusual fishmonger’s stall on Saturday (8 September) at the Positively Putney Summer Party and the Great River Race at Church Square, Putney.
Presented by an enthusiastic fishmonger and a scuba diver, an array of some of the surprising litter tossed into the Thames met the guests present at the events.
The stall aimed to remind the thousands of spectators what happens to their litter when it is discarded, and to make the 330 visiting crews consider how they can take part in the campaign. Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and Director of Hubbub, said: “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.”
#FFSLDN was successfully piloted by Hubbub in May last year, reducing riverside litter in the test area by London Bridge by 32 per cent. The campaign aims to raise awareness of how litter in our waterways is harming marine life both in the river and out at sea. Hubbub has been working in partnership with Wandsworth Council, Positively Putney and Port of London Authority to launch and run #FFSLDN.
#FFSLDN asks Londoners to:
- Always put litter in a bin, nowhere else;
- Pick up any litter seen near a bin; and
- If a bin is full, find another or take the litter home.
Hubbub has found that in London, 300 tonnes of rubbish are cleared from the Thames each year, with 80 per cent of this sea-bound waste coming from land. The river is also home to 125 species of fish that suffer from this influx of litter, as it has been found that up to 75 per cent of flounder living in the Thames have ingested plastic.
Commenting on the news, Councillor Steffi Sutters, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Open Spaces on Wandsworth London Borough 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.”
British Rower and triple Olympic Medallist and quadruple World Champion Andrew Triggs-Hodge, a supporter of For Fish’s Sake, said: “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 only one of Hubbub’s initiatives within Putney, where voting litter bins, ‘grate art’ and vibrant posters are placed down the Thames Path in an effort to reduce the amount of litter that ends up in the river.
Hubbub has also 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, funding initiatives such as ‘plastic fishing’ on its two boats made from recycled plastic, or its #Streetsahead campaign in Brighton, which aims to stop people from littering on the beaches and polluting the sea.
To learn more about ‘Catch of the Day’, check out the video on Hubbub’s website.