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‘So frustrating’ - Litter pickers find ‘bushes full of rubbish’ on Ipswich estate

The rubbish collected during the first Chantry Wombles litter pick after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CAROLINE SCHUG

The rubbish collected during the first Chantry Wombles litter pick after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CAROLINE SCHUG

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Caroline Schug and her son Ryan set up the Chantry Wombles in February this year after becoming “fed up” of seeing rubbish strewn across roads, pavements and green areas.

Seven volunteers joined in the first Chantry Wombles litter pick after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CAROLINE SCHUGSeven volunteers joined in the first Chantry Wombles litter pick after the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: CAROLINE SCHUG

MORE: ‘Fed up of it’ - mum and eight-year-old boy set up new litter-picking group

Subsequent litter picks had to be cancelled, due to coronavirus restrictions – but the group restarted its efforts on Saturday, September 5.

Seven volunteers – who kept socially distanced at all times - collected a total of four bags of rubbish from the Ellenbrook shopping complex, as well as parts of Eccles Road and Holcombe Crescent.

Some of the rubbish had been there for years, judging by sell by dates on the packaging.

“We found numerous discarded face masks, 55 plastic bottles, 27 glass bottles, 71 cans and more than 29 baby wipes,” said Ms Schug.

“It is so frustrating, especially when there are four bins in that shopping complex.

“One Womble named Ruth said she is out litter picking most days in Chantry and that ‘it’s like painting the Forth Bridge’ - it’s never ending.”

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Speaking ahead of Saturday’s event, Ms Schug said she was “very much looking forward to getting the group litter picks back up and running, not only for the sake of keeping Chantry clean and looking after the environment but to meet new like-minded people too”.

MORE: ‘Litter problem has got worse’: War against rubbish on Ipswich estate restarts

She says growing amounts of PPE litter - where people have dumped used face masks and gloves on the ground - alongside an increasing amount of plastic thrown from car windows means the group’s campaign is much-needed.

“The litter problem in the area has got worse as we have come out of lockdown, with discarded PPE now added to the list of cans, bottles, food wrappers and baby wipes that are thrown on the floor or out of car windows,” she said.

“Hopefully getting the group litter picks going again will encourage others to care for our environment too - either by thinking again about discarding the litter on the ground or getting involved in litter picking themselves either with us in a group or out by themselves.”

Rubbish Walks founder Jason Alexander has also highlighted the “horrendous” problem of PPE litter in and around Ipswich.

MORE: ‘Horrendous’ - dirty masks and gloves dumped around Ipswich shows ‘complete disrespect’

On one occasion he picked up 50 discarded masks and about 20 pairs of gloves.

He said litterers who dumped dirty masks and gloves on the ground during a global pandemic show a “complete disrespect for fellow human beings”.

For more information, visit the Chantry Wombles’ Facebook page.


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