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Just rubbish: from 20-year-old crisp packets to 1980s Coke cans – some of the vintage litter blighting our borough

1:00 pm, Friday, 24th May 2024 - 2 months ago

Environment and community safety

From 30-year-old cans to crisp packets left on the ground for 25 years, vintage litter is an issue that is blighting North East Lincolnshire.

More than two million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every day and can range from cigarette ends to sweet wrappers. Taking years to degrade, rubbish can cause harm to wildlife, habitats and the environment as a whole.

In an effort to help clean up the borough, North East Lincolnshire Council signed up to the Great British Spring Clean, which called on residents to pick up one bag of litter each from 15-31 March.

Whether that meant taking a bag on your daily dog walk or bringing a litter picker to the beach, everyone did their bit to help clean the area.

However, if not picked up, litter can stay around for decades. To help put a stop to this, one man is making it his mission to pick up rubbish that has spent years on the ground.

Zac Robinson, known as PickWalks, has found all sorts roaming Grimsby with his pet Labrador Ellie. Picking up an array of litter in her mouth, Zac became worried and his fears were realised when she bit into a bottle of superglue which exploded in her mouth.

From then on, the two have been collecting litter whenever they can. “There came a point when Ellie wasn’t picking things up in her mouth, but I knew other dogs would and that litter could harm the local wildlife so we kept going.

“Once you notice how bad the issue is it’s hard to stop picking it up. What we do benefits the residents and the animals that live in the borough and we won’t stop doing it, it makes sense to help.”

Focusing on what is becoming known as vintage litter, rubbish that has stood the test of time, he said: “I started finding things that were over 10 years old and they weren’t buried in the ground, just sat on the surface and in bushes.

“It’s interesting to find these things, but it just shows how important it is not to litter.”

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