THERE is still a few days left to sign up for the Litter Free Dorset Challenge and make a positive impact on your local area.
Litter Free Dorset have teamed up with the Preventing Plastic Pollution project to provide 250 budding Dorset litter heroes with litter picking equipment for this year’s challenge.
In return for taking part in a litter-picking challenge this May, participants will be able to keep hold of the equipment for future litter picks.
You can get involved with this year’s challenge to have some fun exploring your local area. Take part to make a difference to how your local outdoor spaces look and feel – not only positively impacting people’s mental health but also benefiting our local wildlife.
A total of 250 spaces are available for this year’s challenge and you can sign up at www.dorsetcoasthaveyoursay.co.uk/the-litter-free-dorset-challenge until 11.59pm on Friday, April 1 or until all places are taken.
Participants will be able to choose a challenge and, in return, receive a litter picker, high vis vest and weighing scales.
You will be able to choose from four different challenges to take part in this May so that your litter pick is at a time that suits you. The challenges to choose from are:
- The 10-hour challenge – litter pick for 10 hours in one day
- The 10-times challenge – take part in 10 litter picks throughout the month
- The 10-minute daily challenge – everyday litter pick for 10 minutes throughout the month
- The ‘create your own’ challenge – is there a particular challenge you have in mind?
You could also consider doing a sponsored challenge! Raising money for Litter Free Dorset means that we will be able to run the challenge again in 2023 and help fund some of our other projects and campaigns to reduce litter. You can donate to Litter Free Dorset here.
Alongside having some fun, you can also help provide litter data to the Preventing Plastic Pollution project to better inform solutions to tackle plastic pollution long term. Read more about their project here.
Sophie Colley, co-ordinator of Litter Free Dorset, said: “We’re excited to be running the Litter Free Dorset Challenge again this year.
“A total of 120 brilliant volunteers took part in last year’s challenge. They collected approximately one ton of litter – the equivalent weight of a baby humpback whale!
“With double the number of participant spaces available in this year’s challenge, we’re hoping we’ll be able to double the amount of litter collected!”
By extracting plastics and other materials from our local streets and green spaces before wind and rain carry them into our waterways and out to sea, you’ll be making a difference to your local area, while also protecting and maintaining Dorset’s excellent bathing water quality and the marine life within it.
Amanda Arnold, Preventing Plastic Pollution Researcher added: “We are really pleased to be supporting the Litter Free Dorset Challenge again in 2022.
“The more information gathered by volunteers on the types and quantities of litter in our environment, the better our ability to identify where it is coming from and the more likely we can create lasting solutions to stem the flow of plastics entering our rivers and seas.”
Alongside the challenge, Litter Free Dorset is encouraging participants and challenge supporters to join the Litter Free Dorset Challenge Facebook group. This will be used for participants to share their challenge progress and to also receive support.
Mother and son, Sonja and Marley, participated in last year’s Litter Free Dorset Challenge.
Sonja said: “Myself and Marley took part in the Litter Free Dorset Challenge last year. Marley, who is seven years old, took up litter picking during the pandemic and loved taking part in this challenge.
“He did 10 litter picks throughout June and collected a lot of rubbish. He had fun being part of a collective challenge and enjoyed keeping track of how much it all weighed.”