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‘Big Bottle Watch’ aims to clean up polluted Thames from plastic waste

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 September 2017

One of 20 sites along Thames waterfront where plastic bottles get washed up. Picture: Thames 21 environment charity

One of 20 sites along Thames waterfront where plastic bottles get washed up. Picture: Thames 21 environment charity

Thames 21

Volunteers with the ‘bottle’ to help clean up the polluted Thames roll up their sleeves tomorrow at 20 hotspots along the foreshore including five in east London.

They are joining the ‘Big Bottle’ investigation into how single-use plastic bottles affect marine life in the river and out at sea.

The volunteers are expected to smash last year’s record of 2,500 plastic bottles in one day.

“We were shocked by the number of bottles we found,” its organiser said. “But we suspect this was just the tip of the iceberg.

“We need volunteers to help map the scale of the problem so we know how badly the Thames is being impacted.”

Tomorrow is the biggest plastic bottle mapping project ever staged in London by Thames 21 charity, aimed at encouraging the public to switch to sustainable alternatives such as refillable bottles.

Four of the five major hotspots in East London where plastic waste washes up are within a two-mile stretch along the Isle of Dogs which gets more than its fair share of rubbish, being on the loop in the river.

They are Millwall Dock, opposite Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre in West Ferry Road, Poplar Rowing Club in Ferry Street, Newcastle Drawdock in Sauders Ness Road and London Yard in Amsterdam Road.

The fifth major site for volunteers is further down-river at the Royal Docks, next to the Royal Victoria Gardens in Albert Road, North Woolwich.

There are spaces left in East London for volunteers to get involved, if they register online.

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