LITTER picking is picking up interest thanks to RSC’s The Tempest.
Rubbish Friends Stratford say that since the RSC’s current production started shining a spotlight on waste and its impact on the environment, there has been more interest in their litter picks.
Stratford’s answer to The Wombles continued, it was even brought in as a consultant and litter provider for the scene which features Ferdinand “beach cleaning” using a litter picker.
Rubbish Friends and their partners were invited to help “behind the scenes”, sourcing local litter, observing rehearsals, and providing answers to questions from the Director, Elizabeth Freestone.
Young Rubbish Friends and Duke of Edinburgh students worked with Escape Arts Youth and a commissioned artist to co-create an installation from rubbish and recycled materials.
And blogs on the RSC’s website “Whisper from the Wings” focus on sustainability and how every decision took the environmental footprint into account.
Claudine Pearson, a Rubbish Friends trustee and volunteer pick organiser, said: “Interest in our group has seen a definite uptick locally as a result of The Tempest. Litter picking is a fun, free, curiously addictive and sociable activity for all ages and abilities. It sparks conversations about rubbish and the environment. Rubbish Friends is a broad church. We are reasonably confident that most people can agree on a dislike of waste and a love of nature.”
To that end, Rubbish Friends recently got together for its first litter pick of the year around the train station, Western Road and the roundabout by Morrisons.
Between the 17 adults and seven children who took part they filled 12 bags full of recycling and 16 bags of litter for landfill.
Several items including a computer display, footballs, cycle helmets, car mats and broken umbrellas as well as the usual broken car parts, were reported to Stratford District Council using its Waste and Recycling App.
Local business Nellie’s Retro & Vintage Store on Western Road took charge of the rubbish until the following day for Biffa to collect.
Warwickshire Rural Crime Team, on their way out to patrol, met two of the younger volunteers.
They said: “We discovered this pair giving up their Sunday morning to help litter pick around Stratford.
“We later found five more of our local young people along with 17 adults were out cleaning up the town. A big thank you to Rubbish Friends Stratford for such valuable work.”