Too much littering on the marshes

Hackney Council does a wonderful job in clearing up the litter from Hackney Marshes. Goodness knows how much it costs.

However, if you are out walking after the sports sessions, before the council has done its magic, the scene that confronts you is appalling. Litter everywhere and a great deal of single-use plastic. I find it hard to ignore and often find myself disposing of it in the nearest bin.

Last Monday (September 3), my anger reached boiling point. Having picked up some detritus such as half-full plastic water bottles, I walked towards the new green carbuncle (sorry, sports pavilion), to be confronted by a practically empty bin, surrounded by about 20 plastic food containers and cutlery left within a hand’s distance from the nearest bin outside the pavilion.

I am therefore appealing to the participants and organisers of sports activities to do something about these thoughtless, wasteful, bad habits.

Sports people should be able to set a better example and have the motivation and energy to put things in bins or take them home. Clubs should be advising their members of the need to reduce plastic and use reusable cups and bottles and not leave empty and in many cases half-full bottles of water and energy drinks on the pitches. Teams leaders could organise a collection after matches finish and/or bulk order some reusable cups and bottles for their teams.

As Hackney Council is so generous as to give free parking to sports people including visitors from outside the borough, perhaps it could re-coup some of the huge amount of money spent on building the new facilities on the marshes by fining any club from booked areas that leave significant waste behind.

I can hear people saying that it is not just sports people, but anyone who visits the marshes after the weekend will notice a significant increase in the nature and level of stuff left behind, including nonrecyclable cups that clearly come from the nearby Hackney Marshes
Sports Centre cafe concentrated on or around the pitches.

The marshes are a shared resource, not only by other users but also by wildlife. So please sports and any other people eating and drinking on the marshes and other green spaces, take your rubbish with you or put it in the bins!

[Celia Coram: Letter in Hackney Gazette, 13th September 2018]

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