Hotspot for litter on Newport riverbank cleared
A group from Natural Resources Wales (NRW) organised a litter pick on the lower river Usk in Newport, gathering an astonishing 52 bags of plastic drinks bottles.
They also gathered a further 12 bags of metal, glass and plastics including one whole bag of plastic bottle lids.
The litter problem was brought to their attention after colleagues doing a routine flood defence inspection near the Liberty Steel site reported high quantities of litter along a 100 metre stretch of the nearby riverbank.
Rhys Morgan, NRW Marine Technical Specialist said:
“Because this spot is on a bend in the tidal stretch of the river and has lots of undergrowth it catches and retains a lot of floating debris.
“Apart from being unsightly, plastics are harmful to wildlife and can enter the food chain and be harmful to people too.
“The littered area forms part of the Lower Usk SSSI and the area is known to be a key habitat for otter.
“Litter picking is not part of NRW’s remit but this particular site is difficult and dangerous to access, so with the permission of Liberty Steel, we were given access to the site when there was a low tide.
“This is the worst site I’ve ever seen - the litter may have been accumulating there for 20 years or more. We only managed to clear half the site and will return after the bird nesting season to finish the job. We’ll then monitor the area to check for more litter in the.”
Newport City Council agreed to collect all bagged material and arranged to recycle most of the litter.