Paddle & Pick campaign
The waterways of London are great places for activity, relaxation and getting in touch with nature. However, in places they are blighted by litter and in particular plastic waste. This is part of a worldwide problem. Much of the litter ends up in the open ocean, it is ingested by fish and marine mammals and enters the food chain. See this link for further information on plastic pollution and this link for a report on plastic pollution of the Thames.
The world's oceans may have more plastic debris than fish by the year 2050, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum. The study found that 32% of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and finds its way into natural ecosystems, including the oceans. Currently 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year - the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic rubbish every minute!
David Attenborough has recently spoken on the issue and is generating great interest as always. Here is an article relating to his speach.
Active360 have been organising and helping with clean-ups of our local waterways since 2011. In these Paddle & Pick events, we let participants have free SUP, including a short lesson if required, in return for getting involved in clearing a section of canal of plastic waste. This fun element has worked well to encourage people, who would perhaps not otherwise get involved in clean-up events.
We have helped coordinate a clean-up across London's waterways over a 4 day weekend in Spring 2016. The event aim is to clean up several parts of different watereways and raise awareness of the issue of plastic litter in oceans and generate media interest.
Active360 runs regular sessions at:
- Paddington Basin
- Kew Bridge
- Brentfod Lock
- Islington Boating Club
Clean-ups are organised regularly at each site. To widen the reach and increase the impact of the campaign, we have invited other wateway users to join us. We also have regular contact with Chelsea Canoe Club and British Canoeing and have invited them to get involved. Other watersports clubs and providers around London have offered to run events.
- Watertrek (Paris based group organising canal clean ups there)
- Canal and Rivers Trust
- Thames 21
- Thames Estuary Partnership
- Port of London Authority
- Islington Boat Club
- Merchant Square
- Starboard - SUPs
- Edge Canoe Club
- Wake Up Docklands
- EPIC SUP Club - Twickenham
- London Sports Trust
Clean-up times may vary at each site - about 2-3 hours per site and several groups per site.
In addition to taking part we will encourage people to review their purchase of plastic packaging and consider lobbying/petitioning and not buying from companies who use unnecessary plastic packaging. We will offer advice on where they can find more information to help them cut down their use of single use plastic.
Recent Paddle & Pick events in London:
- London Paddle & Pick on April 8-13, 2016
- Merchant Square Paddle & Pick on October 28, 2016