Sea Scouts are finding out for themselves the huge quantities of rubbish that is thrown into our rivers: bottles, plastic and cans are some of the common finds, but the recent haul highlighted the more bizarre items that find their way into the environmentally unique rivers of Norfolk. It certainly took some seamanship skills to haul out the shopping trolley…..
The 8th Norwich Sea Scouts, with the support of local Marine Conservation Society company members Gnaw Chocolate, embarked on an initiative which educates younger people within the Norwich community on the importance of keeping our environment clear of waste. The Scouts are currently running sessions to remove rubbish from the River Wensum and its banks. The initiative is part of the MCS ‘Source to Sea’ pledge to clean up rivers within the UK.
Misha Camp, Corporate Partnerships Officer, said: “This fantastic initiative is a great opportunity to share the Marine Conservation Society’s work with a group of engaged young people. By collecting litter from the rivers of Norwich, less rubbish will make its way into our ocean.”
The Scouts were shocked to understand 80% of waste which ends up in our oceans originates from inland. But when they saw the amount of waste taken from the rivers during their first session, they started to believe this depressing statistic. Each Scout Section collected eight full bin bags full of waste for every evening they went out litter picking.
Norwich City Council donated litter pickers, gloves, collection hoops and bin bags so the Scouts could clean the river Wensum near Bishopgate safely and effectively. The rubbish was then sorted through and disposed of as environmentally as possible.
The state and smell of the rubbish was appalling; local Norfolk chocolate manufacturer GNAW came to rescue by donating chocolate to all those who had worked so hard. Connor White, Gnaw Chocolate, noted: “Sustainability is at the heart of our ethos, and there is no better place to start than your own front door. We love supporting the local community, being a proud Norfolk brand. The MCS ‘Source to Sea’ initiative was a great way to educate the younger people in Norwich on the importance of sustainability, whilst cleaning up our rivers.”
Lucy Clark from 8th Norwich Sea Scouts added “Thank you so much to the Marine Conservation Society, to GNAW chocolate and also the Council for support on this activity. The volume of rubbish found and retrieved was certainly a wake-up call for all of us and we hope to repeat the exercise in the future. We hope we won’t find another trolley though…..”