For Fishes Sake Putney!

70% of fish in the Thames have litter in their gut - how can SW15 residents reduce this?

Just a few unpalatable items found in the Thames


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Did you know that 70% of fish in the Thames have litter in their gut? A campaign to tackle riverside littering is floating its way down the Thames to our very own Putney.
92% of Londoners think it’s wrong to drop litter, yet each year 300 tonnes of rubbish is retrieved from the river.

In 2017 environmental charity Hubbub launched For Fishes Sake (#FFS) to explore new ways of tackling this rubbish issue and using bright messaging and playful interventions they reduced riverside litter by 32% in the London Bridge area.

image; Positively Putney, Stakeholders hear Hubbub's presentation by Gavin Ellis

This year #FFS is back. To kick things off a meeting was held with key riverside stakeholders to discuss the upcoming campaign that will be launched as a partnership between Hubbub, Wandsworth and Richmond Council, Positively Putney BID and the Port of London Authority.

Cllr Sutter with Hubbub's Gavin Ellis

Steffi Sutters, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Open Spaces, started the meeting by talking about the issue of riverside littering and its relevance to Putney, MP Justine Greening also spoke of her project to engage local schools on the issue, and Gavin Ellis, Director at Hubbub, presented plans for the For Fishes Sake campaign and opened the floor up for discussion.

One thing that was very clear was that marine plastics is a big issue. Blue Planet is very much in the forefront of the public eye and problems with wet wipes, microbeads, microfibres, and generally the plastics we use at home were discussed at length. The challenge now is to harness this passion and bring together local organisations and residents to make a change in the area.

All agreed that in Putney cigarettes butts, dog poo, and plastic bottles are commonly found along the river walkway, the foreshore and any slipways were the worst points for attracting litter, as well as outside pubs and bus stops where people are likely to congregate. Putney benefits from a huge rowing community, but litter from sports events and activities can often end up in the river.

Representatives in attendance came from
• Barnes Tidy Towpath Group
• British Rowing
• Go Ahead London
• Great River Race
• In the Drink
• London Port Health Authority
• London Youth Rowing
• Natural History Museum
• Port of London Authority
• Plastic Free Barnes & Mortlake
• Putney Social Group
• Putney SAS (Surfers Against Sewage)
• Putney Society
• Royal Holloway University of London
• South West London Environment Network
• St Mary's Church
• Thames 21
• Thames Plastic Art Project
• The Rocket (Wetherspoon)
• The Thames Project
• Tideway
• Thames Regional Rowing Council (TRRC)
• Wandsworth Council /Thamesfield Ward - Cllr Mike Ryder

Hubbub believe that local organisations are making excellent work towards reducing plastics in the river and many local businesses are willing to get on board, so it was agreed that collaboration is the key to a strong campaign and sustainable success.

Don't feed the fishes your rubbish

So what now? Local organisations will join forces and Hubbub are running workshops with businesses and trialling ways of engaging with the rowing community. Keep an eye out for the campaign launch towards the beginning of August and expect fish themed puns, jazzed up bins, a community gallery, and events at the Great River Race and Foreshore Festival.

July 6, 2018

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