Locals invited to reconnect with the Thames at a beach clean up in Grays

19 February 2016 – Grays, Thurrock:

Residents in Grays and the surrounding areas are encouraged to join one of the biggest litter picks along the beach on February 27 from 10am to 1pm. Organised by Thames21, this event aims to improve the health of the waterways along this stretch of the River Thames by using community support to bring about change.

It is no secret that the Thames suffers from pollution but to limit the damage this pollution can cause to wildlife, Thames21 is challenging the community to join them in their quest to clean up Grays Beach. Thames21 aims to recycle as much of the litter as possible.

“This is everyone’s river and that means everyone can help improve its health,” said Emma Harrington, Development Manager at Thames21. “Together with the Port of London Authority, annually we remove an astonishing 300 tonnes of litter from the Thames – that is equivalent to the weight of a blue whale and two Boeing 757 aeroplanes.

“Our work at Thames21 is all about putting rivers at the heart of community life. We believe that to create a sustainable future for our waterways, we must empower people to feel connected to their local river and this is also why events like this are so hugely important.”

The Great Grays Litter Pick is supported by Thurrock Council, a number of councillors and community groups in the area. Additionally it is supporting related initiatives by the Cleaner Thames Campaign and Clean for The Queen clean-up campaign.

Rob Groves, Community Project Worker, from the Grays Riverside Community Big Local, said: “Real change can be brought about when everybody comes together with a common goal in mind. That’s exactly what the litter pick event is all about – uniting people to clean up a stretch of the Thames for the benefit of both people and the environment.”

Tanya Ferry, PLA Environment Manager said: “The PLA is pleased to be working with Thames21 and the local residents to improve the river environment and as a supporter of the Cleaner Thames Campaign, we are calling on people to do the right thing and bin their litter before it ends up in the Thames”.

Emma Harrington from Thames21 added: “Today much of the litter we see is plastic and given that plastic takes at least 400 years to break down and can cause significant damage to animals, these clean ups are crucial to doing something good for the health of our rivers, our oceans and the wildlife they support, which incidentally, includes humans.”

Event details:

Location: Grays Beach – meeting point at the end of Argent Street by Thurrock Yacht Club.

Date and time: February 27 between 10 am and 1pm

Other information: All clean up equipment will be provided.

Social media: #CleanerThames @Thames21



About Thames21

Thames21 is an environmental charity which aims to improve London’s rivers, canals and ponds through community engagement.

www.thames21.org.uk | Registered Charity No. 1103997

About the Cleaner Thames Campaign

  • Up to 300 tonnes of rubbish is recovered from the Thames every year, with the amount of plastics, especially plastic bottles growing year on year.
  • Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, finding that up to 75% of some types of fish have plastic fibres in the gut.
  • The campaign partners are calling on Londoners to ‘do the right’ thing and make sure their rubbish goes in the bin, not in the River Thames.

About The Port of London Authority

  • The PLA is a corporate supporter of Thames 21, providing waste management services, administrative support and corporate funding.
  • The PLA work to keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment and promote the use of the tidal River Thames for trade and travel.