Asda and The Canal and River Trust have taken to the waters of the Leeds & Liverpool canal today to kick start a week-long litter pick which will involve hundreds of colleagues from Asda.
The ‘Asda Big Canal Clean-up’ is one of the country’s largest ever, as volunteers aim to cover a ten-mile stretch of the canal in just 5 days in a bid to tackle plastic pollution on the waterways and the surrounding tow path.
Starting this morning at Newlay Locks in Kirkstall, relay teams of colleagues in canoes, boats and on the land, will work their way down the canal, reaching Asda House by Wednesday and finishing at Knostrop Lock on the Friday.
Chris Brown, Asda’s Senior Director for Sustainable Business, said:
“As a proud Leeds-based company, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the waterways in our city, free from litter. We’re committed to tackling plastic waste in our own operations, but also have a rolling programme of litter picks in communities across the UK to remove plastic and other litter from our local environments.”
The nation’s canal and rivers go through such a diversity of cities, towns and villages and this is reflected in our volunteers.”
Sean McGinley, Yorkshire & North East director at Canal & River Trust said:
“Canal & River Trust is on a mission to eradicate plastics from our vast network of canals and rivers – helping us all to live in better, more beautiful neighbourhoods, whilst tackling a global issue, and making life better by water.
“We’re really excited to be partnering with Asda to realise this ambitious project to help look after our canals, as beautiful, inspiring places for people to enjoy. Volunteering with the Trust is a great opportunity for businesses and individuals alike to discover their local waterway, have fun while making a difference.”
The plastic collected is going to be given a new lease of life as it’s responsibly recycled by The Maltings Organic Treatment Ltd. The Leeds-based company will transform the waste into a bench which will be revealed along the canal in the coming weeks as a lasting legacy from the challenge.
The big litter pick is part of Asda’s commitment to tackle unnecessary plastic and the retailer has already removed 6,500 tonnes of own brand plastic from across the business over the past 18 months.
Canal & River Trust are the waterway and wellbeing charity that look after 316 miles of waterways across Yorkshire and North East England and 2,000 miles in England and Wales. Earlier this year the Trust released its report on plastic pollution and launched its Plastics Challenge campaign.
To find out about the Canal & River Trust’s Plastics Challenge and to read the research report, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/get-involved or follow on social media @CanalRiverTrust #PlasticsChallenge