Greenpeace volunteers from around County Durham picked up more than 100 pieces of plastic packaging waste, as part of World Clean-up Day.
Volunteers logged the different types of plastic they found, and the brands that produced the plastic. Overall, Tesco topped the list with over 30 of pieces of packaging. Volunteers also found Coca-Cola bottles, Nestle wrappers and single use packaging from brands owned by Unilever.
These brands are under fire yet again, after being found to be among the worst polluters in last year’s clean up.
Diana Simpson, a volunteer with the group, said: “I’m absolutely horrified about the amount of plastic we found on the riverbank in just an hour. This plastic – often carrying the logos of huge global brands – is choking the River Wear, polluting the sea and spoiling our beautiful river banks.”
The community clean follows on from Greenpeace’s release of the largest ever survey of plastic pollution in our rivers. Scientists and campaigners collected water samples in February and March at separate points along the River Wear and the 12 other rivers, which were analysed by Greenpeace scientists at the University of Exeter.
Diana continued “Our community clean up provides yet more evidence that big companies need to step up and dramatically cut their use of throwaway plastic packaging. It’s simply not fair to leave residents and local councils to pay to clean-up their rubbish. We call on our city’s MP Roberta Blackman-Woods to sign Greenpeace’s plastic free rivers pledge and show their support for our natural heritage.”