Life in plastic, not fantastic
New bins have been installed along a popular pedestrian and cycle route to help prevent plastic pollution.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council installed 12 new litter bins along the Prittle brook greenway route, which runs between Belfairs Park and Priory Park. This route is a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists alike, however it has been highlighted that litter is often left strewn across the route.
The new bins have been installed at key junction points along the route and will hopefully go some way in reducing the amount of plastic pollution in Southend. Littering on this route has the potential to end up being washed into the North Sea via the brook.
Cllr Mark Flewitt, cabinet member for public protection, said: “Recent television programmes such as ‘Blue Planet and ‘Drowning in Plastic’ have identified the very real risks that plastic pollution can pose to marine animals and the wider environment.
“Whilst plastic is an amazing material - it is strong, flexible and durable - these very same qualities mean that it never really breaks down. It has been estimated that a plastic bottle could potentially survive in the marine environment for up to 450 years, slowly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces as it is exposed to sunlight, wind, wave action and heat.
“The new bins provide an opportunity to dispose of litter responsibly so there is no reason to drop litter along the Prittle brook greenway. Even litter carelessly dropped in the street may end up washed down the drainage system and into watercourses like Prittle brook.”
In addition to the new litter bins, the council is also supporting local volunteers known as ‘Street Champions’ who are actively helping to prevent plastic polluting the marine environment. For more information on ‘Street Champions’, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/streetchampions