Many thanks to Phil Fletcher, Rotary District 1090 Ambassador for the Environment, who gave us an exhilarating talk, starting with a swift summary of the development of Rotary’s seventh area of interest locally.
Inspired by initial work on canals by Clubs in Amsterdam, Henley Rotary organised a visit to the Ardley ‘Energy from Waste’ Facility and followed up with a series of awareness-raising public events with catchy themes (viz. “Rotary Talks Rubbish”), explaining local waste facilities’ value to the Oxfordshire community (Ardley providing power for 60,000 homes; Benson Food Waste power for 30,000 homes + fertiliser for fields). The Henley Club provided waste bins to local schools with students designing stamped posters. Members set up a Market stall and talked about plastic alternatives, the Club giving ‘End Plastic Soup’ Awards to individuals and local businesses who took action.
A pilot River Clean-up in 2021 from Sonning Lock to Shiplake Lock has developed in just over two years into the current ‘Plastic Blitz’ for 2023, together with the Environment Agency and Thames 21, involving Clubs and their partners throughout the Thames Valley and four other Rotary regions. The template for the scheme is being also taken up across the world. “End Plastic Soup” now has ambassadors in 39 countries.
Phil recommended we watch Paul Whitehouse’s BBC2 programme “Our Troubled Rivers” on I-Player as an eye-opener.
What can we do? Add filters, stop using single-use plastics, recycle what we can, raise awareness, complain, and form alliances to work with others.
Our Banbury Club will be working for the second year – together with our Town and Cherwell District Councils – to clean up the river and canal watercourses and their banks in our town. Members please get the date in your diaries (Saturday 27th May) and ‘talk rubbish’ with everyone you know…
Would you like to join us in helping to protect and improve our community and it’s environment?
Speak to a member of Banbury Rotary or email us here