University of Northampton hosts student litter picking as part of COP26 event

Some of the rubbish found in Northampton dates back to 1990

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:17 am

The University of Northampton (UoN) hosted a student litter picking as part of their week-long COP26 event.

The event held in Beckets Park, Northampton, which was intended to raise awareness of litter's impact on the environment, saw a strong turnout from students at UoN, who collected multiple bags of rubbish from in and around the park.

Sally Romain also attended the event. She is the Chair of Northamptonshire Litter Wombles, an aspiring charity with the aim of eliminating litter in Northamptonshire by 2030. With 2800 members, the group is optimistic they will succeed.

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It is hoped that even small events will increase public awareness

Sally said: "We are very concerned as a group about the damage being done to the environment and the impact it has on wildlife.

"We were finding layers and layers of crisp packets dated as far back as 1990, so going on 30 years old.

"We are also concerned about flooding which has been a huge issue in Northampton in part because of those layers on layers of rubbish that clog the waterways.

"We believe so strongly in education, and university is all about education. So we see a great synergy with that cause and what we do."

Sally hopes the Wombles can apply for charity status soon

The event appears to have succeeded with at least two of its attendees, after they were 'surprised' by the sheer amount of rubbish they found in a very short span of time.

Lynden Dixon, a journalism student at UoN, said that: "I think it's important that more people are invested in their future.

"This week is the perfect opportunity to look at how we can improve ourselves and the way we are living."

Natalie Govier, another journalism student, added: "I think it's important that young people especially know how much damage we can do, to the squirrels in the park and so on, without realising.

The event marked the second day of UoN's COP26 week

"Because in just 15 minutes we have collected three whole bags of rubbish and that is quite surprising."

Gemma Goater is a senior account manager at Suez, the company partnered with UoN for waste and recycling collection and disposal. Goater stressed that raising awareness is the key to ending pollution of many kinds.

She said: "From Suez's point of view we always say that prevention is the first port of call. Because if we were preventing then events like these wouldn't be necessary.

"For me I'd rather have a whole university that did recycling imperfectly than one person who does it perfectly. Because a lot of little changes can make massive changes down the road."

Outreach to young people is a big focus of the week

UoN's COP26 event will be continuing every day until Friday (November 5).