The Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire, James Gray joined a team of ploggers in Cricklade, this bank holiday Monday, to help raise awareness of the scourge of single-use plastic and help pick up the plastic left along the Thames.

With over 75% of fish in the River Thames estimated to have plastic in their guts and over 80% of ocean litter being plastic, Plogolution wanted to raise awareness as well as document all plastic and other litter picked up along their Ultra Plog.

James Gray MP said:

“It was great to welcome local girl Michele Parkes, born and brought up in Cricklade, back to her old stamping ground to help her campaign against plastic litter. Michelle is the founder of Plogolution, a charity which combines physical fitness with litter collection. She and a gang of others have set themselves the task of running the 184 mile length of the Thames from its source near Ashton Keynes to the Thames Barrier in 6 days, collecting litter as they go along.

Thanks partly to Sir David Attenborough’s brilliant Blue Planet 2, we now all know about the appalling damage which plastic waste is doing to our oceans and wildlife. We must use less, recycle more and collect the plastic waste which others haver thoughtlessly thrown away. Only thanks to initiatives such as this do we stand any chance of saving our oceans, our environment and our planet for future generations.”

Dermot Kavanagh, Michelle’s co-founder of Plogolution, said:

“We set up Plogolution as a way to encourage people to be fit and healthy and care about their local communities at the same time. This Ultra Plog is an excellent way to generate awareness of the amount of rubbish that litters our riverside paths and sadly eventually ends up in the river and then the sea. We hope to have people join us on the way either for all of it or various sections as we pass through.”