Community effort to mark Earth Day in Malmesbury

People in Malmesbury came together to mark Earth Day with a massive litter pick in their community.

Malmesbury Against Plastic co-ordinated the ‘Big Clean Up’ project, which encouraged residents to do their bit to clean up the town.

The group was established to help reduce the town’s use of single-use plastic, following the scheme organised by Surfers Against Sewage.

Throughout Earth Day (Thursday, April 22) people collected litter across Malmesbury before leaving their collections at the Riverside Centre to be sorted.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Some of the collected rubbish Photo by Photo by Hattie EllisSome of the collected rubbish Photo by Photo by Hattie Ellis

Staff at Whatley Manor, which recently received a new ‘green star’ in Michelin’s 2021 list, also organised litter-picking outings around their hotel, including around Fosse Way and towards Easton Grey.

With the Big Clean Up, it is hoped that the scale of litter can be highlighted, and that people can be encouraged to take their rubbish home with them, recycling there whatever they can.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photo by Hattie Ellis Photo by Hattie Ellis

“It went really well,” said Laura Morgan Forster, of Malmesbury Against Plastic.

“Whatley Manor did a really good job on their outing, and a huge amount was collected overall.

“We picked up a lot of cans which will be recycled, which is good.

“It’s something we will definitely try and do again, as a collective effort like this is really satisfying.”

Throughout the day, bags upon bags of litter were collected.

A stair gate, a pair of crutches, chairs and even street signs were among the larger items dumped across the town.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Two Whatley Manor volunteersTwo Whatley Manor volunteers

“It’s heartbreaking when stuff is clearly usable but that it ends up not only littered, but also wasted as a result of that,” Laura added.

The Whatley Manor team, made up of 20 volunteers, spent two hours litter picking and hailed the community effort a huge success.

Ben Thornbury shared the Big Clean Up news online and wrote: “Used to be on my own but today has shown me so many has got involved couldn’t be more happy with what was collected on World Earth Day.

“Together we can and we will make a difference.”

Photos by Hattie Ellis and Whatley Manor

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