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‘Ending plastic pollution is a good resolution’ – Wildlife gadgetman’s New Year message

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 December 2018

Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks showing a full bucket of cigarette butts Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks showing a full bucket of cigarette butts Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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A Suffolk activist known as ‘Wildlife Gadgetman’ is calling on people to make plastic waste reduction their New Year’s resolution as he looks ahead to 2019.

Volunteers pick up litter at the Woodbridge Rubbish Walk Picture: Victoria PertusaVolunteers pick up litter at the Woodbridge Rubbish Walk Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Jason Alexander has spent much of this year picking up more than three tonnes of litter from Suffolk’s rivers, beaches and quays to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

His litter count includes Smartie tops from the early 1970s and a Marks and Spencer carrier bag from 1984.

He has also collected 60,000 cigarette butts in his various clean-ups since August.

Today Mr Alexander hit the streets of Woodbridge as part of his monthly Rubbish Walks series.

His team filled nine bags with litter, including fast food and sweet packets, plastic bottles, cans, a shoe, and more than 2,500 cigarette butts.

Now the activist and blogger is looking ahead to the new year, and hopes even more people can take his pledge to reduce their plastic waste.

Several people braved the cold for the last Rubbish Walk of the year. Picture: Victoria PertusaSeveral people braved the cold for the last Rubbish Walk of the year. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“This year has been about collaboration, building relationships and friendships,” said Mr Alexander.

“That has worked really well but 2019 is very much about action, it’s about affecting change.”

The Wildlife Gadgetman already has more than 30 rubbish walks planned across Suffolk for 2019.

Around 2,500 cigarette butts were picked up on the Woodbridge Rubbish Walk Picture: Victoria PertusaAround 2,500 cigarette butts were picked up on the Woodbridge Rubbish Walk Picture: Victoria Pertusa

He hopes to plan even more, but first he has three key steps for those wanting to take his ‘Plastic Promise’ in 2019.

“Element one is to reduce your single use plastic every day,” he said.

“It’s not a radical thing, I’m not asking people to completely stop.

Plastic cups were also pulled from the water Picture: Victoria PertusaPlastic cups were also pulled from the water Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“I’m saying use a little bit less than you did the day before.

“Eventually, you will stop using them altogether.”

Going on regular rubbish walks and, more importantly, getting two other people to join you are the other pillars of the Wildlife Gadgetman’s philosophy.

Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks. Picture: Victoria PertusaJason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“These are three very simple elements,” said Mr Alexander.

“I don’t think they are too broad and they are all easily achievable, looking forward I will also be posting content online to help people with their plastic pledges.”

Mr Alexander is also keen to embark on numerous projects, including a push against the use of flushable wet-wipes and balloon releases.

Volunteers gathered at Woodbridge's Tea Hut for the last Rubbish Walk of the year. Picture: Victoria PertusaVolunteers gathered at Woodbridge's Tea Hut for the last Rubbish Walk of the year. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

He said: “From 2019 our rubbish walks will be registered as social enterprise so hopefully they can receive some funding.

“I hope I can hire a few people to go into the community and raise awareness, in schools, offices, and on business team-building days.

“As I said, it is all about action.”

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