We are running a photo competition as part of our Clean Rivers Cleaner Seas campaign which aims to raise awareness of riverine plastic pollution. Sustainable clothing brand Finisterre has joined forces with us and will be offering a Litus Waterproof for the winning photo.

The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of riverine litter, which is a major source of marine plastics and one that is best tackled by stopping it entering at source. We are asking people to use social media to submit photos showing the river litter they have seen this summer: entries can be submitted by using the #CleanRiversCleanerSeas hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

The campaign will now run until the end of September, with the winner picked by a representative from Finisterre and Eunomia’s Chairman Dominic Hogg and announced at an event in the autumn at Finisterre’s Park Street store in Bristol, just around the corner from our headquarters. The event will showcase images from the campaign and discuss what needs to be done to tackle river pollution.

80% of marine plastic originates on land, and rivers are one of the many routes that transport litter to the ocean, with it estimated that the global plastic debris inputs from rivers into the sea ranges from 0.41 – 4 million tonnes per year. The scale and impact of marine plastic pollution is increasingly being recognised; it spoils previously pristine environments, harms wildlife and appears to be entering the human food chain.

We hope that raising awareness of the consequences of plastics entering rivers will discourage people from littering, and encourage them to participate in the many volunteering opportunities that exist to deal with litter. Whether in towns, countryside or at the seashore, #CleanRiversCleanerSeas will also highlight particularly problematic areas for groups to focus clean ups on.

The campaign follows on from Eunomia’s #SavedFromTheSea campaign last year, which encouraged people to take part in beach cleans along Britain’s coasts. With it estimated that the average person across the world living just 2.2km from a large river, the #CleanRiversCleanerSeas campaign makes the connection between riverine litter and ocean plastics, bringing the message closer to home.

How to take part:

Simply take a picture of the litter you find in your local river, and send it to us @Eunomia_RandC with the hashtag #CleanRiversCleanerSeas to enter! There’s no limit on the number of entries any individual can submit, and the competition will be live across Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For inspiration, take a look at our Social Media Toolkit.

Eunomia’s Chairman, Dominic Hogg, said:

“UK citizens are increasingly aware of the problem of plastic on our beaches and in our seas. It is fair to say that a significant proportion is transported by rivers. We want people to be aware that plastic is not spontaneously found on our beaches and in our seas, but that the problem starts on land, where the plastic is transported out to sea. “

Finisterre said:

“Cleaning up our oceans requires an immediate a collective effort from all of us. They are our playground and the fight to protect them must be taken upstream.”

The winner of the competition was announced on Tuesday, 4th December 2018. Watch the video below to find out more.

Photo courtesy of Nosso Rio, Flicker, CC BY-SA 2.