Litter pickers unite to launch blitz on untidy blackspots

Honiton Lions Club members joined the newly-formed Honiton Litter Pickers to clear up rubbish

Honiton Lions Club members joined the newly-formed Honiton Litter Pickers to clear up rubbish from the boundary of Tesco's car park - Credit: Honiton Litter Pickers

An action group determined to make Honiton a tidier town have launched a blitz on litter that is blighting the community.
The Honiton Litter Pickers  are a newly formed group, set up by Peter Coster. He felt action needed to be taken to reduce littering and he was encouraged by the Herald’s article on the litter-picking work that Kathy Layzell was doing.
The group’s Rob Waldron said: “Now we have 160 members who want to make a difference in our community and the surrounding villages – and Kathy is also now in this group.”
Rob added: “After Peter had received reports and postings had been put up on the group’s Facebook page about litter in Tesco’s car park boundary it was decided we would have a blitz on it. 
“We spoke to Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, Tesco’s community manager, who was very supportive and keen for us to have a tidy up. We also had two members of Honiton Lions volunteer to join us on the task.”
The litter pickers filled several bags in four hours.
Rob said: “It was a considerable amount. It is really sad that there are members of our community who don’t really care. Duncan was also so surprised by the quantity we collected and also took photos to send to his head office and kindly offered to dispose of it via Tesco’s in-house programme. 
“The group members look after the areas where they live and now the Covid restrictions are becoming lighter we are able to hit an area with a larger group if required.”
He said they had received support and help from local businesses, including Combe Estates, the Real Factory Shop, ARGO mobile repair team and City Electrical Factors. Rob added: “East Devon District Council were supportive once they realised we were serious and have given us a drop-off point for our litter.
“We are also pushing for extra litter bins to be sighted around town in bad areas.  We are also very keen to recycle properly, and any funds received will go straight back into the community. 
“What we’re also trying to achieve is to make our community aware there is a serious problem of litter in the town. We have cleared around 20 large bags of cans, plastic bottles and litter off the industrial estate alone – and it’s not finished. It’s doing damage to our environment and sadly it’s more serious for our wildlife. Animals are being caught in cans and plastic and our loved hedgehogs are dying through it. 
“The problem of litter really needs to be reduced drastically. We really need to pull together on this one, it’s not going to go away, we are all guilty perhaps of just putting our heads in the sand hoping it will go away. 
“If we all started taking our litter home and not throwing it down, that would be a start.”

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