A managing director of a Hebden Bridge recycling company will travel from Liverpool to Goole entirely on standup paddleboard, to raise awareness of waterborne plastic waste.
Jason Elliott will traverse the country using the Desmond Family Canoe Trail, a project run by waterways and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust.
He will raise money for Surfers Against Sewage, the organisation that campaigns for the reduction of plastic pollution in our waters.
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Every minute two million single use plastic bags and one million plastic bottles are sold, and the use of plastic across the world has been a major topic of conversation over the last few years.
Jason is the Managing Director of British Recycled Plastic in Hebden Bridge, a company he started to be part of the solution to the problem of plastic waste.
Jason, a lifelong surfer, canoeist and paddleboarder, said: “The issue of plastic in our waterways is serious, and one that cannot be taken lightly. People think about the plastic in the World’s oceans, but it’s affecting us here in the UK too in our inland canals and rivers as well as our beaches.
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“The Canal & River Trust charity spends over £1 million every year removing litter from towpaths and waterways and they do a great job… but the plastic problem is not going away. The biggest difference we can make is by moving away from single use plastic packaging and disposing of our waste responsibly – something each and every one of us can do.”
Jason will start his journey on February 7 along the Desmond Family Canoe Trail, which comprises the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation, from Bootle, Liverpool and he aims to arrives in Goole on February 16, a total paddling distance of 162 miles (255km).
Jason said: “I am grateful for the support of the team at the Canal & River Trust for their help in organising this, the wonderful people at Bluefin for their incredible Sprint Touring iSUP and carbon fibre paddle, the team at British Canoeing for helping to get the word out, and to my daughter Georgia who will be doing all the day-to-day logistical support and filming during the crossing.”
Danny Matley, programme manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “Through our Desmond Family Canoe Trail project and regular community volunteering sessions we work really hard to look after our canals and rivers to ensure they remain great places for people and wildlife.
“We’re really glad that Jason is undertaking this challenge to help raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution, and we hope his efforts will remind people to always bin or recycle their rubbish and encourage them to get involved in helping to care for their local canal.”
For more information on what’s happening on your local waterway, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk