The Thames used to be a foul stream in which almost nothing could live. But in the middle of the 20th century, the pollution was addressed, with the river now being relatively clean and home to a great diversity of life, including otters, a multitude of birds, and over 100 species of fish.
All this is now under threat, from plastic.
Plastic waste is lethal. It can kill aquatic life of all sizes, from marine mammals and birds choking on plastic bags to microorganisms being impacted by plastic fragments.
It isn’t just the oceans that are affected either. The constant flow of plastic waste can also have devastating effects on freshwater ecosystems such as the Thames. The river’s most contaminated sites are around sewage plants, suggesting operators aren’t filtering out large items properly.
Past efforts to rescue the river might have been completely in vain if the problem of plastics isn’t addressed. Ask the mayor of London to take immediate action on this urgent issue.
We the undersigned ask that you address the constant flow of plastic waste into the Thames, which seems to be caused to a great extent by carelessly managed sewage plants.
The impact of plastic waste on the oceans has been fairly well publicised. Even if they aren’t aware of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the other devastating effects of plastic pollution, many people have seen heartrending images of marine mammals or birds choking on plastic bags.
Plastic contamination also threatens the wildlife of the Thames, putting its restoration status in jeopardy. Stopping plastics entering the iconic river in such quantities should be one of your priorities.
Please arrange an action plan to deal with what is becoming an ever more urgent issue.
Thank you for your attention.