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Cash-for-trash initiative looks to save Britain's waterways

Environmental consultancy APEM has launched a 'cash-for-trash' initiative to help tackle the problem of plastic pollution in Britain's waterways.

Litter cleared at the River Irwell in SalfordLitter cleared at the River Irwell in Salford

Alongside the Welsh Water Biodiversity Fund, APEM’s charity fund has pledged to donate money to Keep Britain Tidy for every bag of litter it collects from waterways across the UK.

APEM’s field scientists survey watercourses at over 100 locations across the country every year, providing opportunities to collect litter which would otherwise find its way into the sea and have a damaging effect on marine life.

APEM is Europe’s leading independent environmental consultancy specialising in freshwater and marine ecology and aerial surveys.

The head of APEM’s field team, Peter Dennis, said: “During our field work, we are astounded by how much plastic pollutes waterways. It’s tragic to see, as not only does it look unsightly, but it adversely affects our wildlife and ecosystems.

“Single-use plastics like water bottles and crisp packets make up a shockingly high proportion of the litter, and we felt compelled to do something about the problem.

“We’re all in this job because we are passionate about preserving our environment, so collecting the plastic was the best way we could do our bit.

“APEM will donate £1 for every bag collected to support the fantastic work of Keep Britain Tidy and give our staff a strong incentive to get involved.

“We are working alongside organisations such as the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup hoping to eliminate plastic at the source before it enters our oceans.

“We urge as many people and businesses as possible to start tackling the issue head on so future generations can see their waterways free from plastic waste”.

Gail Davies, environment program manager at Welsh Water Biodiversity Fund, said: “This is a fantastic and ground-breaking initiative proposed by one of our environmental contractors who work across all of our operating areas.

“It’s a simple activity which everyone can get involved in and together we can genuinely make a tangible difference.”

Rory Sinclair, chief executive at the Big Blue Ocean Clean-up, added: “APEM’s ‘cash-for-trash’ initiative to help tackle the problem of plastic pollution is an incredible project we fully support.”

Author: Robin Hackett, Deputy Editor, WWT and WET News
Topic: Innovation
Tags: APEM , Dwr Cymru Welsh Water , environment , waterways , biodiversity , litter , wildlife

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