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Press release, [embargo] Wednesday 16th October

TREASURE YOUR RIVER! Organisations urged to join largest ever collaboration to reduce litter along five major UK rivers

• Treasure Your River aims to collect 90 tonnes of litter from the Rivers Avon, Mersey, Thames, Severn and Forth

• Research reveals that 500,000 items of litter make their way into the sea from UK rivers every year

• Funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the campaign will educate people about the role rivers play as pathways contributing to ocean pollution

Businesses, residents and organisations situated along five of the UK’s biggest rivers have an opportunity to join the largest ever collaborative effort to prevent and reduce the amount of litter entering our waterways, and subsequently the ocean. The Treasure Your River campaign will tackle the Rivers Avon, Mersey, Thames, Severn and Forth and their tributaries. The campaign, which is being run by environmental charity Hubbub and funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, will initially focus on prevention and clean-up activities on five major cities based on these rivers – Bristol, Manchester, London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, which between them are home to 1 in 7 of the UK population. Treasure Your River which is due to launch in May 2020, will educate the public about how rivers are transporting rubbish from our streets and riverbanks to the sea. As well as tackling littering behaviour with engaging bins and eye-catching interventions, the campaign aims to remove 90 tonnes of litter from these five rivers and their tributaries over the next year. Trewin Restorick from Hubbub said “The vast majority of plastics that end up in the world’s oceans are carried there by rivers. Cleaning up the river is one thing but preventing litter getting in there in the first place is really crucial. Until we change behaviour on land, this problem will just continue. “Our research showed that 81% of people believe businesses should be doing more to tackle the issue. We want all organisations along the banks of these rivers to come together and help halt the flow of litter into the sea. Whether you’re a sailing club, a school, a local business, a charity or a resident, we want to hear from you!” A network of volunteers from organisations including Thames21, Keep Wales Tidy, Bristol Waste, Mersey Rivers Trust and Changeworks have already signed up. The plan is for the campaign to expand to further rivers and cities in the UK and Hubbub is keen to hear from potential partners in other locations interested in collaborating.


According to the Canal and Rivers Trust, 500,000 items of litter make their way into the sea from UK rivers every year. However new research shows that 48% of people don’t believe that litter entering drains can easily end up in rivers and then the sea. The survey of 2,000 UK residents* suggests -that 64% of people feel helpless about tackling the ocean litter crisis and 75% would like to do more to reduce the amount of litter ending up in the sea. Liz Lowe, speaking on behalf of The Coca-Cola Foundation, said “We are all aware of the terrible impact that ocean pollution is having on marine wildlife and the environment, and collaborative action is critical. Part of the approach to this is to raise greater awareness of the causes of ocean pollution, which is why we’re funding Treasure Your River - to not only help educate people about how rivers are transporting rubbish from our streets and riverbanks to the sea, but to also help with the clean up of these rivers. “Water is fundamental to nature, communities and businesses. This is why Coca-Cola has long standing partnerships with organisations such as WWF to help protect rivers – in this country we’ve been working together for the last 7 years in East Anglia to help preserve chalk stream rivers through supporting farmers with on-farm interventions, such as installing silt traps to reduce sediment running off fields into waterways.” Treasure Your River will engage the public on how they can make a difference through simple behaviour changes such as taking their rubbish home with them, two-minute litter picks and responsible disposal of fishing tackle. The campaign aims to create a legacy for each river, with an army of regular volunteers and litter-clearing infrastructure. To find out more and sign up to the campaign visit www.treasureyourriver.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS *Survey conducted by Censuswide in October 2019 – nationally representative sample of over 2,000 UK residents aged 18+

ABOUT HUBBUB Hubbub is a charity which explores innovative ways to interest mainstream consumers in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods. Hubbub’s previous campaigns have included #LeedsByExample a large scale recycling on the go campaign in Leeds, #SquareMileChallenge, the UK’s first large scale solution to coffee cup recycling, #NeatStreets to cut litter in UK cities and For Fish’s Sake (#FFSLDN) to tackle litter in the Thames.   https://www.hubbub.org.uk/


A B O U T T H E C O C A - C O L A F O U N D AT I O N The Coca-Cola Foundation is The Coca-Cola Company’s primary international philanthropic arm. The Foundation was established in the U.S. as a registered charitable organization. Foundation grants are awarded to non-profit organisations throughout the year based on key strategic priorities, tax requirements, legal compliance and approval by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Coca-Cola Company is committed to giving back 1 percent of its prior year’s operating income annually. Since its inception in 1984, The Coca-Cola Foundation has given back more than $1 billion to enhance the sustainability of local communities worldwide. It supports learning inside and outside the classroom and addresses critical community challenges through global water stewardship and community recycling & litter programmes, and women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. For more information on what Coca-Cola is doing in Great Britain, please visit www.coca-cola.co.uk For more information contact the Hubbub team at Barley Communications:   Maria Kortbech maria.kortbech@barleycommunications.co.uk 07952 507 270 Laura Harrison Laura.Harrison@barleycommunications.co.uk 07525068378

Profile for HUBBUB

Treasure Your River l Press Release l Hubbub  

16th October 2019. Organisations urged to join largest ever collaboration to reduce litter along five major UK rivers • Treasure Your River...

Treasure Your River l Press Release l Hubbub  

16th October 2019. Organisations urged to join largest ever collaboration to reduce litter along five major UK rivers • Treasure Your River...

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