Strewn across verges at the side of pavements, and clogging up the undergrowth alongside footpaths, litter is such a familiar eyesore to us all that it can seem like an inevitable part of urban life, despite being unnatural.
Charles Kinniburgh, who lives in Manchester and picks litter there, spent most of his career working with nuclear waste as an engineer. He was drawn to litter picking after retiring and going along with his wife to a local litter pick, and refuses to see it is an inevitable stain on our urban environment.
“If litter picking was a hopeless task I wouldn’t be doing it,” he said. “My physical and mental health has improved after getting out, and it’s good to see the environment benefit too, so it’s a win-win.”
While picking litter in Parrs Wood, East Didsbury, Charles’s advised anyone wanting to start litter picking to plan on how to dispose of the collected bag first. One collected bag of litter can be disposed of at home, while after bigger litter picks councils can offer collection assistance and provide litter pickers and red bags. “Funnily enough I’m very optimistic. A lot of people say to me ‘you’ll never win, you can’t win’ and I always say back to them that you can,” Charles said.
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Featured image and video production: Noora Mykkanen