Happy year of the rat!

Posted on 06th February 2020 | in Community

It’s now over two years since Blue Planet II, and the environment is being discussed daily on the TV and in Social Media. The world’s leading scientists on climate change warn that we have to act NOW if we want to make a difference. (We prefer science over Donald Trump’s rants).

In the Australian fires, we saw millions of people donating money to help the animals affected. People care about wildlife and that’s the main reason why we are continuing with our litter picking and beach cleaning. We are regularly finding dead small animals in cans, bottles and other litter.

There are almost three million small mammal deaths a year in the UK caused by litter. Let’s try and stop this and spread the word.

We wanted to say a big Thank You to Newcastle Building Society and the Community Foundation. We were awarded a grant to cover the costs of two 2-minute beach clean boards. They should be with us soon, and will be used over the year to encourage and enable people to go out and collect some plastic and litter themselves.

We also wanted to thank Angie’s Tavern and the Red Row Brick Club for taking our #BinTheButt beer mats. Cigarette butts are one of the biggest polluters of our oceans and we are trying to encourage smokers to put their used butts in a bin.

We regularly see people throwing them on the ground, and ultimately most of these butts will end up being washed down a drain. They then end up in our waterways and seas. If you know someone who does this, please tell them to stop!

Bin the Wipe

We are also helping Northumbrian Water promote their ‘Bin The Wipe’ campaign. An estimated 11 billion wet wipes are used in the UK annually. In the area covered by Northumbrian Water, in 2019, 64% of the 15,681 blockages cleared were caused by wet wipes. The money spent on this could be put to better use.

Make-up removal is one the biggest use of wet wipes. If you use wet wipes, please try and cut down or change to another method such as a washable cloth.

If you have to use them, ensure you bin them afterwards. We often find wet wipes on our beaches, as anything flushed down a toilet can end up in the sea in bad weather conditions.

We will be organising beach cleaning and other events throughout 2020. The Great British Spring Clean takes place 20 March – 13 April. Please join us if you can. Contact details litterbugsnorthumberland@gmail.com.

Lynne Russell,

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