Environmentalists to patrol for plastic at Hudson River clean-up event

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Lizzie Carr, an environmental activist and founder of Plastic Patrol, fell in love with nature and the water when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. 

But during her time paddling, she began to notice the extent of the pollution problem in waterways across the world.

“It’s a global issue, we’re seeing the same patterns in waterways everywhere around the world,” Carr said. 

In 2018, Carr traveled to New York and paddled the length of the Hudson River from Albany to New York City. But the trip was not as scenic as she’d hoped for.

“There were some spots that were beautiful and it was picturesque and you didn’t really see anything, and there were spots where you were just overwhelmed by the amount of rubbish that you saw,” Carr said. “And then as the tide would change, it would bring more plastic towards you.”

Now, Carr is on a mission to highlight plastic pollution and try to find a solution. 

On Saturday, ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit and as part of World Cleanup Day, Plastic Patrol is organizing its first mass world coordinated cleanup. Carr and volunteers in New York City will paddle from Pier 84 to Inwood, cleaning up the Hudson River. 

“By actually logging it and categorizing it by the type and the amount and the brand of plastic, we’re able to build a really, really powerful evidence base that allows us to trace this issue right back to source. And that’s needed to find solutions,” Carr said.

With the help of volunteers, Plastic Patrol has collected 200,000 pieces of garbage in more than 60 countries so far. 

If you want to help out on Saturday, visit PlasticPatrol.co.uk for more information.