Hear more about Hubbub’s new campaign to prevent and reduce the amount of litter entering our rivers and the ocean…

Ocean litter is something that many of us care about deeply and we’re all aware of the impact it’s having on marine wildlife and the environment. But the problem feels too big for any one person or organisation to tackle.

In fact, our research shows that 64 per cent of people feel helpless about addressing the ocean litter crisis, but 75 per cent would like to do more to reduce the amount of litter ending up in the sea. That’s why collaboration is vital.

Research also reveals that rivers are one of the main sources of marine pollution, with 500,000 items of litter making their way into the sea from UK rivers every year.

This is what environmental charity, Hubbub, is looking to tackle with its new campaign, ‘Treasure Your River’. Funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the campaign aims to educate people on the significant role rivers play in ocean pollution, and has its sights set on first tackling five of the country’s biggest rivers: the Avon, Mersey, Thames, Severn and Forth.

Due to launch in May 2020, Treasure Your River will initially focus on litter prevention and clean-up activities in five major cities based on these rivers – Bristol, Manchester, London, Cardiff and Edinburgh – which between them are home to one in seven of the UK population. “Cleaning up the river is one thing but preventing litter getting in there in the first place is really crucial,” said Hubbub’s Trewin Restorick. “Until we change behaviour on land, this problem will just continue.”

As well as working to tackle littering behaviour, the campaign also aims to remove 90 tonnes of litter from these five rivers and their tributaries over the next year.

A network of volunteers from organisations including Thames 21, Keep Wales Tidy, Bristol Waste, Mersey Rivers Trust and Changeworks have already signed up to work on the campaign. Hubbub is encouraging more businesses, residents and organisations to join them and be part of what is now the largest ever collaborative effort to prevent and reduce the amount of litter entering our waterways and subsequently the ocean.

64 per cent of people in the UK feel helpless about tackling the ocean litter crisis.

Of course, the issue Treasure Your River is trying to tackle goes far beyond the nation’s main rivers and cities – it touches every corner of the UK. That’s why Hubbub plans to expand the campaign to further rivers and cities in the UK – creating a legacy for each river, with an army of regular volunteers and litter-clearing infrastructure. Restorick and Hubbub are very keen to hear from more potential partners in other locations that are interested in collaborating:

“We want all organisations along the banks of these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea. Whether you’re a sailing club, a school, a local business, a charity or a resident, we want to hear from you!” 

Speaking on behalf of The Coca-Cola Foundation was Coca-Cola GB’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Liz Lowe: “We are all aware of the terrible impact that ocean pollution is having on marine wildlife and the environment, and collaborative action is critical. Part of the approach to this is to raise greater awareness of the causes of ocean pollution, which is why we’re funding Treasure Your River – to not only help educate people about how rivers are transporting rubbish from our streets and riverbanks to the sea, but to also help with the clean up of these rivers.”

Keen to hear how you can help Treasure Your River? Head over to the campaign website to find out more.