Cleaning the Lagan Towpath
This weekend we held another clean up at the Lagan Towpath with some amazing support from the Vkind group in Belfast as well as many other volunteers who came down to clean the beautiful pathway along the river Lagan.
It was our first big clean up event in Belfast and it went really well. We collected lots of bottles, cans and broken glass as well as several other interesting items, from broken tennis rackets, to tennis balls (15), car mats (2) and several plastic toothbrushes.
In total we managed to remove another 15 bags of litter including 197 recyclables.
I also want to give a big shout out to ISL again for removing all of the waste and litter we collected today. You can check out their website here for more info.
As you walk along the riverside you start to get a sense of how big the problem is, not only is plastic coming from boats, seaside towns and tourists, but it is coming straight from major cities too, any city with a river running through its heart will surely be a big contributer to plastic pollution in the sea as it is so easy for it to be thrown, kicked, blown or carried into the water and flow out to sea. The problem with smaller items like micro plastics, bottle tops, straws and other small items is that it can also enter the ocean via the sewers and storm drains in cities being carried by heavy rain, (and this is Belfast so we get rain A LOT.) into the nearest drain opening and flowing out into the ocean.
The best thing you can do is begin to move towards a zero waste lifestyle, refusing to purchase anything that has unnecessary plastic or other single use waste or packaging and trying to reuse and recycle as much as you can. We have started to sell bamboo toothbrushes, reusable bottles, and have bags and other items on the way soon. But we need all of us to act together to make the conscious switch away from a single use society towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
We are hoping to begin to spread our clean ups further across Northern Ireland in the near future so keep your eyes on the events page on the website and facebook for all the upcoming events and details, and if you have any areas you would like to nominate for a beach clean please let us know in the comments or via email or facebook messenger and we will consider when and how we can slot the clean up in. Head over to the facebook page here.
A big thank you to everyone who came down to help out yesterday and lets keep this ripple growing!
The beautiful area we spent Sunday morning cleaning and exploring.
We saw many of these black-headed gulls and a few ducks, but no otters today.
Hiding among the tress and ivy
Some of our volunteers getting right down to the river bank to get every can and bottle.
A handful of small items you find along the path
Lining the gutter, this is how many small plastic items en up in the river or the ocean, via storm drains.
Gathered in the car park before we even got to the towpath, not to mention the 3 bag fulls of litter hiding in the trees, that were signs of fly tipping.
Broken glass was a sad and common sight all along the towpath an around the car park
Glass bottles of Buckfast and Vodka were almost as common as plastic bottles today.
15 bin bags full of waste collected, including 197 recyclables (bottles and cans)