Since the start of 2019, Hills 2 Oceans (H2O) has been calling on BMC members and the wider public to get involved in a litter pick to help remove as much litter and plastic from our hills, mountains and crags as possible so it doesn’t end up in our oceans. The campaign is back for 2020 and this year we’re calling on volunteers to do even more.
400 litter pickers, 2000 bin bags, over 50 clean up events and the removal of lots of rubbish! That’s what the BMC’s Hills 2 Oceans Campaign has achieved so far. Yet litter is still a massive issue - Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis have battered the UK in the past few weeks and as a result more plastic and other debris has washed up on our shores. Recent studies have also found substantial amounts of plastic waste on some of our most remote mountains and a study of 13 UK rivers by Greenpeace also revealed they all contained microplastics.
It is estimated there are now 5.25 trillion pieces of ocean plastic debris, and it is estimated the quantity of plastic in the sea will treble by 2025. So, what can you do to help?
There are a number of worthwhile clean up events already planned in the next few weeks and throughout 2020. For example, the Great British Spring Clean, 20 March-13 April and the Big Spring Beach Clean:Summit To Sea which will be running from the 18th to the 26th of April. To make it easier for you to find out about them, we brought all the details together in one place on our new EVENTS CALENDAR
Perhaps you’re already involved with a local walking group or know of a planned walk in your local area? We would encourage you, as part of this, to take a litter pick and remove as much rubbish as possible.
Organise your own H2O event
Alternatively, you may want to organise your own clean up event. The BMC can help by providing handheld litter pickers, free of charge (that can be recycled once they are no longer in use) and re-useable, biodegradable bin bags. Details of how to obtain these can be found below along with information on how to arrange a successful event in our resource pack and a template risk assessment.
Let us know if you’re happy for others to come on your event and we’ll make it public on our events calendar so more people can come along and get involved.
DOWNLOAD: The H2O Resource Pack
DOWNLOAD: The H2O Risk Assessment Template
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN RUNNING AN EVENT
What is the BMC doing?
The office will be doing another litter pick this year and we have already eliminated all single-use plastic from the office. You may have noticed that our presence at festivals / events is already completely plastic free.
In addition, we are calling for outdoor gear manufacturers to take responsibility for the full life-cycle of their packaging / gear and the damage it causes to the environment and wildlife. We will be working with the Outdoor Industries Association and the European Outdoor Group to try and implement a new scheme. In addition, we are lobbying Government for a deposit return scheme, extended producer responsibility, a ban on all single-use plastic and disposable BBQ’s, and increased plastic bag charges.
Working in partnership
Surfers Against Sewage
The BMC is proud to continue to be a Community Partner with Surfers Against Sewage on their Big Spring Beach Clean: Summit To Sea as well as their Autumn Summit To Sea event.
Youth Hostel Association
The BMC has partnered with the YHA to provide over 50 hostels across the country with litter pickers and bags to encourage residents to do a litter pick! If you’re planning to stay in a YHA why not do a quick litter pick? The YHA will even dispose of your litter responsibly.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
As part of the Bronze and Silver Award you can now arrange a litter pick to go towards the volunteering section. Ask your local leader for more information. We can help be providing litter pickers and bags.
Share your rubbish stories:
Our H2O Facebook page is full of interesting stories and is a great record of the amount of waste we are removing from our mountains, crags and hills. From nappies, banana skins, bottles and wet wipes to pants, socks and a ghetto blaster – we’ve been removing all sorts. We would love to hear from anyone that is about to undertake a litter pick. In particular, where you go, how much rubbish you remove and if you find anything of interest. You can do this by sharing your stories with us on our dedicated Facebook Group.
Did you know:
Everyday about eight million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans
Approximately 6.3bn tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the UK each year and out of this around 9% has been recycled, 12% incinerated & 79% is in landfills or the natural environment
Approximately 480bn bottles were sold globally in 2016 (approximately 1 million bottles per minute) and only 7% of these were recycled
A tissue takes around six weeks to break down, a Cigarette butt takes up to 10 years and an Aluminium Can takes about 200 years.
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