Thames clear up provides crucial monitoring data for campaign


Volunteers took part in a litter pick and data survey on the River Thames at Queenhithe as part of the City of London Corporation’s Plastic Free City initiative.

Representatives from the City of London Corporation, charity Thames21, the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, and financial services firms Nomura and Goldman Sachs helped to clear rubbish and conduct a survey of what was found.

Information will contribute to crucial data gathered by Thames21 for its award-winning Thames plastic citizen science monitoring programme.

The Plastic Free City campaign aims to help Square Mile firms reduce the use of single-use plastics by signing up to a pledge.
It will also see 10 new City drinking fountains installed this year.

City pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants are also signing up to become part of a network of water bottle refill stations, where the public can refill reusable water bottles – all found on the Refill app.

Jeremy Simons, chair of the Corporation’s environmental services committee, said: “These litter picks help remove plastic from our waterways and build a better picture of the health of the river.

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The clean up provided crucial data. Photo by Jamie Smith

“Our Plastic Free City campaign will transform the way the Square Mile approaches single-use plastics.

“There is a huge public desire to reduce the impact plastic is having on our environment and it is important that City workers, residents and visitors understand how they can be more sustainable.”

Debbie Leach, CEO of Thames21, said: “In the absence of statutory monitoring, our award-winning citizen science programme provides essential monitoring of the plastic impact on the Thames.

“Meanwhile, our clean ups help remove an average of 300 tonnes of waste from the Thames annually, much of it plastic. We couldn’t do our monitoring or clean ups without volunteers or support from business.

“If you’re an individual wanting to do more on plastic we urge you to join our free citizen science training and, if you’re a business, please consider supporting our work through a corporate clean up or helping fund one of our projects.”

Images by Jamie Smith