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‘Not nice to see’ - 220 littered cans strewn across Ipswich suburb

PUBLISHED: 11:17 26 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23 29 January 2020

The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

Litter pickers have urged people to take greater care in their community after clearing up 143 littered cans strewn across an Ipswich suburb.

The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

James and Sarah De-Vaux Balbirnie held the first Whitton Wombles litter pick at the weekend, after setting up the group in response to the amount of rubbish seen on Ipswich streets.

Their first event - supported by Rubbish Walks founder Jason Alexander - was a big success, with 10 people joining them for a two-hour clean-up covering areas such as Shakespeare Road, Meredith Road and Spenser Road.

The couple, who have been "adjusting our lifestyles to minimise our environmental impact" for 10 years, said the turnout was a sign many people want to take pride in their community.

However Mr Balbirnie said the amount of rubbish picked up, with 78 of the 143 cans collected being energy drinks, showed there is still some way to go to get the message through.

The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

He said the group was "weighed down" with rubbish by the end of the litter pick, with cigarette ends also blighting the area.

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"It's just not nice walking around seeing all this," Mr Balbirnie said.

"When people see litter, they're more likely to drop more or not really care. Wild animals also don't really want all this plastic.

The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group.
James and Sarah De-Vaux Balbirnie and Jason Alexander of Rubbish Walks.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020The first meet up for the new Whitton Wombles litter picking group. James and Sarah De-Vaux Balbirnie and Jason Alexander of Rubbish Walks. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

"From the patterns I've seen, a lot of this seems to be energy drinks shoved into hedges."

He believes if more people pick up litter, it will encourage others to have pride in where they live and make people less likely to drop rubbish in the first place.

He thinks some of it may be down to children on their way to school - but said: "I'm sure a lot of adults do it as well.

"If more people are getting involved, then hopefully parents will have a word with their kids, remind them that they live in this area and that the environment is theirs for the future."

Mr and Mrs Balbirnie now plan to hold the litter picks about once a month at weekends.

The couple may also add weeknights to their schedule during lighter evenings in the summer and have encouraged people to get in touch via the Whitton Wombles Facebook page with any areas in need of a clean-up.


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