Portchester ladies enlist hundreds of families in battle against single-use plastics
A GROUP of women have taken the fight to plastic waste in a bid to clear up the area they live in.
Litter Ladies That Lunch was set up by five women in Portchester, initially to clear up the shoreline during lunchtimes.
Emma Wells, Claire Turner, Hazel Fenn, Kerry Brown and Tina Mouland started by doing litter picks around Portchester Castle and the surrounding area, but support has swelled to the point where hundreds of families have got involved.
Now, the group is working towards a series of goals in a bid to make Portchester 100 per cent plastic free.
Mother-of-two Emma Wells, 43, said: ‘We have all known each other for a long time, and been doing litter picks for a while.
‘When Covid-19 hit we organised a socially distanced way of doing litter picks, and from there have brought in our own families and other people we know.
‘It’s skyrocketed in popularity and we honestly couldn’t be happier with how things are turning out.’
Last year, the group held a litter pick from Fareham Creek to Portchester Castle, with hundreds of people taking part.
In an online group, it’s believed that more than 600 families have signed up to the initiative.
Young people have become ‘beach warriors’ protecting their shoreline, and adults are being urged to do their bit wherever they live.
Emma said: ‘It’s about all of us doing our own little bit.
‘If you see some litter in the street, instead of thinking that somebody else will pick it up, you’ll feel better by doing it yourself – and little gestures like that can go a long way.
‘We can all do something over the course of our lunch breaks, that’s the beauty of it.’
Since the group’s conception, schools such as Wicor Primary School have joined the initiative, and the scope for what is possible in Portchester is rapidly expanding.
Now, the Litter Ladies That Lunch are starting to tackle fly-tipping, reviving marine life and conservation, in a bid to change everyone’s lives for the better.
‘It’s gone from five women to this enormous project, and we’re so delighted by that,’ Emma said.