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Public urged to get behind big greenway clean up

24 May 2018

Derry City and Strabane District Council are calling for volunteers to look after their local environment by taking part in a special clean-up of one of the oldest greenway routes in Europe next weekend.

The clean-up takes place on Saturday June 2nd, leaving from Foyle Valley Railway Station and covering the area Out the Line along Foyle Road.

The event is being organised during Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Clean Coasts week, which aims to encourage people to clean up their local areas in a bid to improve the local environment.

Volunteers who take part on the day can look forward to a plastic-free lunch as a reward for their litter lifting efforts. There will also be an opportunity for fitness enthusiasts to do a bit of ‘plogging’, the Scandinavian craze of picking up plastic while jogging.

Encouraging people to come out and support the initiative, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh said: “This is a fantastic scheme and a great opportunity to bring citizens together to clean up this beautiful stretch of our greenway. Sadly, some people have no respect for our environment and plastic bottles, bags and packaging are commonly dumped on some of our most beautiful walkways. This event will bring our communities together to show that we care about where we live and want to protect and preserve our natural environment.

“For those interested in keeping fit, they can ramp the activity up at notch by embracing the ‘plogging’ phenomenon which involves picking up litter and jogging – perfect for any runners looking to stretch their legs ahead of the Walled City Marathon.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Head of Environment, Conor Canning, said: “Our Council spends over £3.2m each year cleaning our streets, greenways and rural roads. The level of plastic pollution is a serious problem which is damaging our rivers, countryside and urban environment.

“Not only is it unsightly and costly to remove, it’s really harmful to wildlife, taking decades to degrade. We hope that the Big Clean-Up on the Greenway will make people even more aware of how their actions can impact upon the local environment.” 

CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Ian Humphreys, said: “Thankfully most of us don’t litter but some people still don’t understand the consequences of littering. Plastic litter that gets washed into the seas kills untold numbers of sea birds, turtles and marine mammals. “The reality is littered plastic kills but it never dies. As plastic litter breaks into smaller and smaller pieces it simply comes back to us in our fish supper, but with added chemicals. Thankfully, with the support of Coca Cola, more people in Derry and Strabane are getting involved in removing litter from our coast and having a bit of craic at the same time. Join Clean Coasts, join the movement and join in the fun.”

People of all ages are welcome to participate in the event from 10am – 1pm at Foyle Valley Railway Station. See www.derrystrabane.com/rubbish for info.