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Clearing up litter from the Thames riverside for World Cleanup Day 2021

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster

The recent World Cleanup Day 2021 saw organisations across the world coordinate activities to clean up plastic waste littered across their local areas.

Westminster City Council joined the action, partnering with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UK, alongside Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and Royal Haskoning, to clean up a local stretch of the Thames foreshore in London.

After spending the afternoon picking up litter we amassed over 80kg of plastic from the riverside. Most of this consisted of single-use plastic items such as cups, snack wrappers and bottle tops. The litter we removed from the foreshore was taken to a local waste treatment facility to be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. 

The day itself may be over, but everyone is encouraged to continue to do their part for the cause. Here’s how to get involved.

Take part in October’s river cleanup efforts

Whilst World Cleanup Day this year saw thousands across the world join forces on 18th September, it hasn’t stopped there.

As strong advocates for clean water, water management and litter prevention, Westminster City Council are committed to working with the Netherlands Embassy and our local partners to reduce the amount of plastic that is polluting our waterways.

Every year almost 200 tonnes of waste is removed from the Thames by Thames21 and the Port of London Authority. The vast majority of this is plastic waste from single-use plastic products, which can take hundreds of years to decompose. If nothing is done to remedy this then those items will continue to litter rivers and streams across the capital.

October Action Week

The upcoming London Rivers Week 2021 is a great chance to get involved if you missed out on the action from World Cleanup Day. Between 23rd and 31st October there will be events taking place to tackle the damage being done to green spaces and the nearly 400 miles of rivers throughout London. To find out how you and your colleagues can take an active part in this year’s events, please visit the Thames21 website.

How else can you help? Manage waste to prevent litter being created

Even if you are unable to attend the events in person, there are still ways for you and your organisation to get involved.

Littering is a major cause of the plastic pollution in our river systems, so reducing the amount of litter created in the first place is a vital step in restoring national waterways. Presenting your business waste for collection correctly will ensure it does not become a burden on our public spaces.

Streets that are overrun with waste bags are not just an eyesore but these bags are also a major contributor towards litter on our streets. Bags can create litter when they leak, spill or tear or attract littering by pedestrians. Simply knowing when and where to put out the correct types of waste can make a huge difference.

Putting your waste bags out 30 minutes prior to scheduled collection times and as close to your building’s collection line as possible will help reduce accumulations of waste bags on the street outside of the collection times. The collection times apply to all businesses and residents. 

How Westminster City Council can help

Get in touch with us today so we can help you manage your commercial waste better. Better waste management helps with litter prevention and create cleaner waterways in London.

To find out more about recycling and how to improve your waste management, download our ultimate guide to recycling by clicking the link below.

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