New website puts Hampshire's environmental campaigns under one umbrella

A CENTRAL hub for litter picking and recording services will hopefully encourage more people to do their bit for the environment, say campaigners.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 10:39 am

The Environment Agency and Solent Forum have created an environmental information hub.

With advice for groups and individuals alike, the website features links to local litter picking groups, plus recycling tips and a calendar of upcoming litter picks across the Solent region.

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Lissie Pollard, co-founder of the Final Straw Foundation. Picture: Sarah Standing (201120-9272)

The two-year initiative is part of a wider project funded by the cross-Channel Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project.

The Final Straw Foundation, based in Emsworth, is one of the organisations that feature prominently in the hub.

Co-founder Lissie Pollard said: 'We're one of the beneficiaries of this scheme and I think it’s fantastic.

‘It's great to have that central hub for people to find out about all the environmental work that's going on in the Solent, and how they can get involved themselves.

‘We've been on this journey for a few years now but there's still plenty of growing to do. This website has loads of information and hopefully it will get more people to take up litter picking and make a real difference.

‘I think it'll be a huge success.’

The Environment Agency's main goal is to reduce plastic pollution to create a better environment in five years.

Project lead, Lizzie Lewis, said: ‘Each year an estimated 14 million pieces of plastic rubbish end up in and around our waterways, with around 500,000 pieces flowing out into our oceans, adversely affecting marine life and habitats.

‘We know there’s lots of excellent work taking place across the Hampshire patch to improve river and coastal health. This new online resource will collate and publicise this activity.

‘By gathering and recording river catchment data, Interreg partners can create catchment-wide risk maps which identify plastic pollution hotspots. The results will help us to focus our prevention efforts, and hopefully encourage people to change their behaviours by following our waste hierarchy - avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle – to help our planet thrive.’

Kate Ansell, Solent Forum project lead, added: ‘We are delighted to be part of this project which helps to fulfil our ambitions to reduce litter and plastics for the benefit of all Solent coastal communities.’

To see the pollution hub for yourself, go to solentforum.org.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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