M&S canal clean-up

Staff from Marks & Spencer came out in force last week (22-28 April) to help national waterways charity the Canal & River Trust clear more than 12,000kgs of rubbish from over 145 miles of the nation’s historic canals and rivers.

The events were part of the retailer’s second M&S Big Beach Clean-up which, for 2013, was expanded to include 42 canal locations throughout Britain.

On average 30 bags of rubbish were cleared from each site, with more than 1,000 M&S employees heading down to their local canal bank to support the Trust, which works to restore, enhance and educate people about the nation’s 200 year-old network of waterways.

Some of the more unusual items of litter collected included a doll’s house, a vice, a coffee percolator, a transistor radio, a whoopee cushion, fishing rod and a large number of TV’s, shopping trollies and motor bikes.

Caroline Kileavy, head of community engagement at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to staff from M&S for the hard work and enthusiasm they showed to help clean up the nation’s waterways. Our canals and river are a national treasure, a haven for wildlife and leisure, and support from an organisation of the stature of M&S recognises the esteem in which they are held. It was clear that all those involved really cared about the environment and were pleased to have the opportunity to make a difference to their local waterway. We were delighted to be part of the Big Beach Clean-up events which have made an important contribution to the work we do to care for the waterways all-year-round.”

The M&S Big Beach Clean-up is part of M&S’s Forever Fish campaign which is funded by the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S foodhalls. Since its introduction in 2008, the charge has reduced carrier bag use by 80 per cent and raised over £4 million for charity.

People can find out more at www.marksandspencer.com/plana and can follow the event on twitter (@marksandspencer or search #beachclean) and facebook (www.facebook.com/marksandspencer).

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