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Litter pickers clean up post-lockdown take-away waste

PUBLISHED: 17:10 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:54 09 August 2020

Jenny Paterson with her litter haul Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jenny Paterson with her litter haul Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Litter-pickers were out in force in Felixstowe over the weekend as environmental campaigners continue their mission to rid the town of ‘horrific’ levels of waste post-lockdown.

Organiser of the litter pick, Debbie Bartlett Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNOrganiser of the litter pick, Debbie Bartlett Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Volunteers from Litter-Free Felixstowe once again dedicated their weekend to cleaning up the seaside resort’s landmarks and removing any litter that had not been properly disposed of.

Environmental activist Debbie Bartlett founded the group in 2018 and has frequently organised clean-ups as part of her mission to rid Felixstowe of litter.

Poppy and Euan helped with the litter pick in The Grove woods Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPoppy and Euan helped with the litter pick in The Grove woods Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Although the town’s litter issue was less prevalent during lockdown, the easing of restrictions has seen more and more people visit - resulting in a return of the problem.

Addressing the presence of litter, Mrs Bartlett said she had “never seen it so bad” as was in the weeks after lockdown was first eased, with takeaway food packaging a common find.

Poppy and Euan helped with the litter pick in The Grove woods Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPoppy and Euan helped with the litter pick in The Grove woods Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In response, she organised for more than 100 volunteers of all ages armed with litter-pickers to patrol Felixstowe at the start of July when restrictions allowed for small social gatherings.

She said: “As soon as lockdown was eased the situation was horrific. We were getting unprecedented levels of waste across the town and beyond.

Libby, Marcus and Lauren helped to pick up litter in The Grove woods in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLibby, Marcus and Lauren helped to pick up litter in The Grove woods in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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“But the more you clean an area, the cleaner it stays.”

Lauren and Marcus collecting litter Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLauren and Marcus collecting litter Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

With the waste problem still frustrating her, Mrs Bartlett arranged for a similar number of people to meet up in small groups over the weekend.

On Saturday, the group also held a poster competition encouraging visitors to be mindful of littering, with the winner having their design placed around the town’s shops, restaurants and businesses.

Libby helping out with the litter pick in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLibby helping out with the litter pick in Felixstowe Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Over the lockdown, Mrs Bartlett penned her second childrens’ book - titled ‘Just One World’ - in which she reflects on the changes people can make to their lives to reduce their impact in the environment.

Mrs Bartlett said she hoped the group’s visible efforts would act as a deterrent for any would-be litter louts.

She added: “I was hoping that during lockdown we would all learn more about nature and taking care of the world.

“Unfortunately, it appears after we came out of it this has not been the case. But, on a positive note, there has been such a great response.

“We want to get to as many as areas of the town as possible.”


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