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Tideway wins Evening Standard award for charity partnership to tackle river litter

Tideway has been named Corporate Citizen of the Year in the Evening Standard Business Awards for its partnership with river charity Thames21.

Tideway and Thames21 collaborated on Thames River Watch, which recruits volunteers to collect and count litter on the River Thames foreshore to tackle the scourge of plastic waste and raise awareness about issues affecting the health of the river.

The data collected by the volunteers is then used to create reports about these issues and is used to lobby decision makers. Data from Thames River Watch was used by the GLA’s Environment Committee when it recommended in April 2017 that Sadiq Khan did something about the tide of plastic waste, and he subsequently announced the introduction of drinking water fountains in London.

Thames River Watch has recruited more than 1,000 community volunteers and the data they have collected shows the majority of the litter found is packaging of some kind - 75% in 2016 and 57% in 2017. In September 2017, a total of 4,100 plastic bottles were removed from 19 sites on the Thames in one day, and 40% of them were water bottles.

The award is also a recognition of the work Tideway has done at its sites and offices to be responsible citizens – for example, eradicating single-use plastic in its London Bridge office and canteen.

John Sage, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Tideway, said: “Our task is to build the ‘super sewer’ but our vision is wider than that - to reconnect Londoners with the River Thames. We are proud to support Thames21 in their work to do just that and, through the valuable ‘citizen science’ of Thames River Watch, to raise awareness of the scale of plastic pollution affecting London.”

AJ McConville, Thames River Watch co-ordinator at Thames21, said: “Tideway’s involvement goes much further than funding. They have really thrown their belief and commitment behind the project. This shows in the way that they have consistently mobilised their own volunteers and have personally supported us when we have needed an extra to deliver our big landmark events.”