As the waterways and wellbeing charity that looks after 2,000 miles of canals, we know how important water is to the nation's physical and mental health. However, 80% of plastics in the oceans comes from inland, and our research shows that 500,000 pieces of plastic end up in the sea from inland waterways every year.
We are calling on waterway lovers to take action and make a difference. If every person who visited their local canal picked up a piece of rubbish and took it away with them, the waterways could be plastic-free in a year.
This autumn we want people across England and Wales to take on the Plastics Challenge and help make a difference to the health of the waterways:
- Pick up just one piece of plastic
- Take a photo with it and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #PlasticsChallenge
- Take it home and either bin it or recycle it correctly
England and Wales are full of great spots to enjoy the changing season and take some great photos. While every stretch of waterway has its charms, these places offer some particularly spectacular scenery:
- Pocklington Canal
- Regent's Canal
- Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal
- Huddersfield Narrow Canal
- Trent & Mersey Canal
- Oxford Canal
Autumn is one of the loveliest times to visit the canals, as the turning leaves transform them into glorious corridors of orange, brown, red and gold. But sometimes the rustle of fallen leaves is actually the sound of a discarded crisp packet or a piece of plastic. We want people throughout England and Wales to join us in taking action on plastic pollution. Autumn is a great time to get involved – come along for a walk and, if you find any litter, pick it up and take it home to recycle. Or get creative and find a picturesque backdrop to showcase your action and share the results with us! Being by the water makes people healthier and happier so, whatever you choose to do, a trip to your local waterway is the perfect way to enjoy an autumnal afternoon.