Robotic pirate ships and a silent disco part of new River Mersey litter campaign

A new anti-litter campaign, featuring robot rubbish-clearing pirate boats, launches today in an effort to clean up the River Mersey.

Treasure Your River will run for the remainder of 2021, including a packed programme of activities for this summer.

Events include a silent disco litter pick, art installation, and paddle and picks — as well as deploying robot boats to rid the river of rubbish.

“Since the early 1990s the waterways of the River Mersey have been in rapid recovery mode,” Mike Duddy, from the Mersey Rivers Trust, said.


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“Species of plants, fish and mammals being recorded after absences of over 200 years.

“However, despite these improvements, there is more to do to clean up the Mersey, including tackling litter in our urban rivers.

“The Mersey Rivers Trust is delighted to be involved in the Treasure Your River campaign which will focus on cleaning up litter in local rivers in Manchester, Salford and Liverpool and working with local communities to stop litter from entering our rivers in the future.”

Run by Sustainable Hive and environmental charity Hubbub, the campaign says it is targeting the Mersey because it has ‘higher levels of microplastic pollution than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

Gavin Ellis, director and co-founder of Hubbub, said: “Treasure Your River aims to make the connection between litter in our towns and cities and plastic in the oceans, and to offer people something positive they can do about it.

“The majority of plastics in the oceans are carried there by rivers; the River Mersey for example has proportionately higher levels of microplastic pollution than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

“We invite any individual or organisations along these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a local business, a sailing club, a school, a charity or a resident.”

The campaign is the UK’s largest ever collaborative effort to prevent and reduce the amount of litter in our waterways, tackling seven of the UK’s largest river systems: the Mersey, Avon, Forth, Severn, Taff, Thames and Trent and their tributaries.

It will focus on preventing litter from entering the rivers and clean-up activities in major cities based on these rivers and the waterways that flow into them.

You can find out more about the campaign online.

MEN – Stockport