More than 200 Essex & Suffolk Water volunteers, forming part of a volunteer army from Northumbrian Water Group, rolled their sleeves up to muck in and donated over 1,000 hours, through the company’s employee volunteering scheme, Just an Hour - to help reduce the amount of litter entering our seas.
A trainer and socks were just some of strange items collected - with the main common items being plastic bottles, dog poo bags, face masks and cigarette butts.
The huge community effort took place in support of World Oceans Day on Tuesday, June 8th and The Great British Spring Clean, which took place between Friday, 28 May and Sunday, June 13th – and was supported by Essex Wildlife Trust.
Keith Haslett, Water Director at Essex & Suffolk Water and a participant in one of the 17 beach cleans, said: “What an amazing turn-out by our people and it was even better that we could team up with Essex Wildlife Trust to make an even bigger impact.
“We are really proud to support our local communities, through our employee volunteering scheme – Just an Hour, and help improve the environment in this way.
“Plastic not only litters our coastline and is harmful to wildlife, but it can also have a damaging effect on the quality of our bathing waters. It’s important we all play our part in protecting it and we can do that by putting rubbish in a bin or taking it home with you, as well as using water wisely in our day-to-day lives.”
The company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour, supports its people to give a minimum of 15 hours every year to help community and charitable causes close to their hearts.
Grant Maton, Corporate Communications Officer at Essex Wildlife Trust, said: “We have entered the most vital decade for nature. We are dependent on the natural world in every aspect of our lives. The air that we breathe. The water we drink. The food we eat. Our physical and mental health. We need nature and we need wildlife.
“Events like World Oceans Day give us that opportunity to focus on the issues, and Beach Cleans such as these being carried out by Essex & Suffolk Water get everyone involved practically.”
Karen Dixon, Corporate Coordinator at Essex Wildlife Trust, added; “We were proud to work in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water and support the huge volunteer effort for the greater good – and playing our part in helping to make a difference to our coastal habitats.”
For more information on how Essex & Suffolk Water supports local communities and to request for volunteer support, visit the ‘Responsibility’ section of www.nwg.co.uk