General Article ‘It was so gross, I nearly cried’: Meet the UK’s litter-picking army –

Topic Selected: Waste and Recycling Book Volume: 385

...fighting our rising tide of filth

Thousands of volunteers are trying to keep Britain clean as people go wild after lockdown. We join some in Bournemouth, as they face the discarded plastic, PPE, pants – and human poo.

By Sam Wollaston

On a promising July morning, Bournemouth’s East Cliff limbers up for the day: dog walkers, power walkers, an outdoor gym class on a patch of grass. Four people in hi-vis vests beetle about purposefully, looking at the ground. They carry buckets and bags, and each has a tool – a stick with a handle at one end and a grabber at the other.

One of them, Lea Baker, 62, nimbly scales the clifftop fence to grab a Coke can. ‘Sometimes, when there is a really difficult one and I get it, I’m like: “Yes, I win!”’ she says, giving it a little fist pump.

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