New research conducted by Censuswide in April 2017 found that half of Londoners admitted to squeezing litter into bins that are already overflowing.
Another 54 per cent admitted to leaving litter next to a bin and 30 per cent admitted to putting rubbish down storm drains.
In order to tackle such habits an innovative new campaign is taking place named For Fishes Sake (#FFSLDN), which hopes to stem the flow of little into the River Thames.
Litter entering British waterways is a major problem for marine life, harming animals both in rivers and the sea.
Robin Mortimer, chief executive of the Port of London Authority, which is supporting the initiative led by environmental charity Hubbub, said:
The amount of litter that is entering the Thames is increasing and it’s coming from all parts of the city.
“This new research found that seven in ten of people think that the Thames is too polluted for fish to survive, but there are actually 125 species living in this river that need protecting. Litter in both the river and the ocean is breaking down and being eaten by and harming birds, fish and other species.
“The typical city rubbish – small pieces of litter such as travel tickets, food wrappers, disposable crockery and cigarette butts – are a particular problem. They are less likely to make it into a bin and once they’re in the environment, they’re harder to retrieve.”
For Fishes Sake is calling on Londoners to help stem the flow of litter that is currently entering the Thames. It states that people could:
- Use bins
- Pick up litter
- Use a different bin if one happens to be full
The research also showed that 80 per cent of Londoners get angry when they see others litter and 92 per cent believe that dropping litter is wrong.
Gavin Ellis Co-founder of Hubbub said:
Our research shows that just over half of Londoners who admit to dropping litter do so accidently and 43% of people said they do it when they can’t see a bin nearby. However, from Waterloo to Tower Bridge you’re never further than 40 metres** from a bin.
“We’ve witnessed many commuters balancing their empty drinks containers on the side of London Bridge in the hope someone will clear up after them. These cups are blowing into the river and this type of behaviour is happening across the city.
“Many people don’t think of themselves as ‘someone who drops litter’ because they’re not throwing it on the floor, they’re carefully placing it somewhere. When close to the Thames there is a good chance this will end up in the river.”
Each year 300 tonnes of rubbish is cleared from the Thames, which is equivalent to 43 bottlenose whales.