On Saturday September 21, Plastic Patrol – a global movement to eradicate single-use plastic – is co-ordinating a series of clean-ups across the UK as well as Europe, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico and the US, to mark World Clean Up Day.
The UK locations are London, Falmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Southampton, Brighton & Hove, Bedford, Kingsbridge, Nottingham, Oxford, Leeds, Reading, Birmingham, Glasgow, Stirling, Dunfermline and Edinburgh.
The goal is to run the first mass activity based clean-up of its kind and collectively remove and record 250,000 pieces of rubbish from nature in 24 hours.
Each clean-up is activity-based. In return for providing an opportunity to take part in free activities, from paddle boarding, yoga and plogging (a fitness trend that combines running with picking up litter) to parkour (running through areas in a town, using skilful movements to jump over walls and other objects), volunteers are asked to make a payment in the form of a ‘nature tax’. That means collecting any rubbish they find and recording it in the Plastic Patrol app.
Plastic Patrol said uniting individuals worldwide to litter pick and log findings in the app enables it to gather real-time data to drive long-lasting change and reinforces the positive impact of a single person in tackling the crisis.
At the helm of Plastic Patrol and the brainchild of this event is founder Lizzie Carr. She said: “Litter picking alone is not the solution. It’s an interim measure and to make it more impactful, it must be combined with citizen science. Extracting important data from pollution that we find in nature enables us to build a powerful evidence base that illustrates key problems and develop ways to address them. By running a global series of clean-ups to mark World Clean Up Day, we are continuing to grow our existing repository of data and gathering more insight to help us find solutions.”
All data collected on Plastic Patrol’s app will be shared with Plastic Patrol’s partner scientists at the University of Nottingham to analyse, alongside the existing 210,000 examples of pollution uploaded from 66 countries globally to date.
Individuals unable to attend organised clean-up sessions are invited to download the Plastic Patrol app (available on android and iOS) and record any litter collected independently on the day: it all counts towards the final amount.
To find out more information, or book a space on a clean-up, visit www.plasticpatrol.co.uk.
Plastic Patrol founder Lizzie Carr