Beach clean up champion receives award
PUBLISHED: 09:01 22 March 2019
An Ipswich man dedicated to tackling the scourge of beach litter has received a Points of Light award for his efforts.
Jason Alexander received the award from the government scheme which recognises volunteers working to benefit the community and inspire others.
Mr Alexander founded the voluntary group ‘Rubbish Walks’ to encourage people in his community to join in beach clean-ups.
He launched a Beach Clean Marathon last summer and holds regular weekly beach cleans on the shorelines around Bawdsey and Felixstowe, which has included clearing up more than 100,000 cigarette butts.
In a letter to Jason, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Through ‘Rubbish Walks’ you are highlighting the terrible impact that plastic and cigarette butts are having on coastal environments, and inspiring people in your local community to take action.
“As we mark the Great British Spring Clean, you should feel enormously proud of the personal impact you have made in clearing litter from the beautiful beaches of East Anglia. I wish you the very best with your continued efforts.”
Mr Alexander said: “I’m honoured to have received this award for something I love doing and feel so passionate about.
“I’m blown away by the other individuals and groups out there doing what they do every day to raise awareness about single use plastics, litter and waste in general. They are all truly litter heroes too.
“Individually we can make a ripple of change. Together we can make a wave.”
Jason has been dubbed The Wildlife Gadget Man for his work in inspiring novice naturalists to connect with wildlife through the use of cutting-edge technological devices such as nestbox cameras and trail cameras.
He was inspired to take action after repeatedly seeing rubbish blighting the local landscape, particularly from cigarette butts - research by ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ found only 38% of smokers are aware cigarettes contain plastic.
Mr Alexander received his award from environment minister Therese Coffey on a litter-pick today, the launch day of the month-long Great British Spring Clean.
She said: “I am delighted to present Jason with the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award for outstanding contributions to tackle litter and kick off the Great British Spring Clean 2019.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Jason has been selected for this award.
“As an official Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHeroes Ambassador, Jason has demonstratively supported our campaigning efforts, from #BinTheButt through to our small mammals roadside litter campaign.
“He is a valued member of the team and a very worthy recipient.”