Photo: Sophie King, Wychavon’s Assistant Community Development Officer, Chris Colley, Fortis Living’s Community Officer, Cllr George Duffy and Tracy Grubb, Wychavon’s Community Development Officer.
More than 500 items of plastic litter were collected from the streets of a small part of Droitwich as part of a national campaign to highlight the harmful impact of plastic on the environment.
Cllr George Duffy, staff from Wychavon District Council and Fortis Living joined forces to carry out the litter pick around the Westlands estate on Friday, 11 May as part of the Great Plastic Pick Up.
As well as general litter the team also picked up 551 plastic items that had been left on paths or tossed into hedges. The most common plastic items collected were plastic bottles, plastic bottle tops and plastic straws.
There were some more unusual plastic items picked up as well including a roller skate, cycling helmet, traffic cone and part of a plastic Christmas tree. The national campaign was led by Keep Britain Tidy and the Daily Mail.
Littering is becoming an increasing problem across the UK and costs councils £800 million a year in clear up costs. Wychavon alone spends about £1.5million on street cleansing every year.
Plastic litter is a particular problem as it takes a long time to biodegrade. A plastic bottle takes on average 450 years to break down.
Cllr Duffy, who represents Droitwich Spa West, said: “Seeing how much plastic is hanging about in our environment was a real eye opener. Litter not only looks unsightly but it presents a danger to wildlife and could contaminate soil. There are plenty of bins around and I’d urge people to use them and help keep our beautiful district clean.”
Cllr Emma Stokes, Executive Board Member for Environment on Wychavon District Council, said: “Public awareness about the impact plastic has on our environment has increased significantly following recent television programmes highlighting the issue. Wychavon is taking the lead with our promise to reduce our own plastic consumption while also encouraging and supporting residents to do the same.”