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Home Environment IMO Secretary-General unveils New GreenSeas Iconic Recycling Bin opposite IMO Headquarters in London

IMO Secretary-General unveils New GreenSeas Iconic Recycling Bin opposite IMO Headquarters in London

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r to l: Fazilette Khan, Founder and Trustee of GreenSeas Trust; IMO Secretary-General, Arsenio Dominguez; and Lambeth Councillor Martin Bailey.

A Milestone for Thames Marine Conservation: GreenSeas Unveils Iconic Recycling Bin Opposite IMO Headquarters

London, UK, 20th June 2024 – In a step forward for local marine conservation, GreenSeas Trust has installed its 18th BinForGreenSeas recycling bin opposite the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) headquarters in London, sited by the River Thames at 8 Albert Embankment (fire station jetty). The iconic bin has been officially launched by Arsenio Dominguez, the Secretary-General of the IMO, who graciously cut the ribbon at a ceremony today.

This installation, the fourth by the River Thames in London and the third funded by the City Bridge Trust, is a testament to GreenSeas Trust’s dedication to combating marine plastic pollution. With the River Thames hosting some of the highest recorded levels of microplastics globally, this initiative is a timely and crucial intervention.

Currently, GreenSeas Trust has 17 strategically placed bins, collecting an impressive average of 81,000 500ml plastic bottles per month, and 970,000 bottles annually. When placed end-to-end, these bottles span 198 km, equivalent to 172 Big Bens per month. These striking statistics underscore the significant impact of GreenSeas Trust’s efforts in reducing plastic pollution.

IMO Secretary-General, Arsenio Dominguez, said: “I am very pleased to support the work of BinForGreenSeas. These bins are visual, practical reminders that we all must act to protect our ocean. They offer an unmistakable invitation for us to be part of the solution to rid the planet and oceans of plastic pollution.

To have one of the bins in the line of sight of IMO headquarters is especially fitting, as IMO brings together governments and maritime stakeholders from around the world to tackle global challenges that affect everyone,” he added.

A former seafarer-turned-engineer-turned-marine-conservationist, Fazilette Khan, Founder and Trustee of GreenSeas Trust, emphasised the importance of this initiative, stating: “The River Thames is one of the most polluted rivers in the world in terms of plastic waste. Our eye-catching BinForGreenSeas is not just a practical solution for waste collection; it also serves as an educational tool, leveraging the ‘nudge effect’ to encourage people to rethink their plastic use. This initiative is vital for protecting our marine environment and promoting sustainable practices.

The BinForGreenSeas project continues to expand, with three additional bins set to be installed in the UK over this year, and three more planned for overseas locations. Each bin plays a critical role in reducing plastic pollution and fostering environmental awareness.

Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation chairman, said: “For over 20 years, GreenSeas Trust has been doing a fantastic job educating people about the need to eliminate plastic waste from entering our rivers and seas. We’re delighted to be able to fund the latest BinForGreenSeas, which not only has a practical use as a place for people to put their litter, but also provides a striking visual reminder about the urgent threat to our oceans and the marine life they support.

Lambeth Council Deputy leader and cabinet member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, added: “We’re thrilled to be establishing this wonderful new GreenSeas Trust plastic bottle recycling bin in Lambeth. It’s essential we protect the natural world for future generations, and this bin will encourage our residents and visitors to recycle their plastic waste. Together, we can and will reduce plastic pollution.”

The alarming statistics on plastic pollution in the Thames are a stark reminder of the urgency to act. Scientists have estimated that 94,000 microplastics per second flow down the river in some areas, exceeding levels found in other major European rivers. Plastic pollution severely impacts wildlife, with crabs and clams found to ingest microplastics, and “wet wipe reefs” accumulating along the riverbanks.

By fostering awareness and providing a tangible solution, GreenSeas Trust is paving the way for a cleaner, healthier marine environment in London, around the UK, and beyond.

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