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Penylan litter pickers lead the way in cleaning up Cardiff

The community run group is one of many litter pickers around Cardiff tackling the problem and trying to reduce the city’s environmental impact

The banner is prominently displayed on a park gate to attract new volunteers

The Penylan community litter pickers group is self-sufficient and comprised entirely of volunteers from the community that meet at the corner of Blenheim Road and Sandringham Road one Sunday a month. It began with a simple Facebook post inviting like-minded individuals to come along and has become an integral part of the community. 

The government has established a scheme called Keep Wales Tidy, with many sub-groups forming within communities.  Lowri Mifsud, 42, founded Keep Penylan Tidy last year after being frustrated with the amount of litter in the area.

Empty beer cans scattered close to the entrance of Roath Park

Last week it was announced that the Welsh Government is proposing a ban on frequently littered single use plastics, following the decision of the EU last October.  This follows the release of a study conducted by the RSPCA shows that there has been a 22 percent increase in litter-related incidents in the last five years.

Nathan Brown, 32 was out with his daughter on their first litter pick and says that it will become a regular activity. “My daughter likes doing it because she likes to save little birds from getting trapped”, he explained.

Lowri says she has noticed the litter decreasing in the area, with average litter picks resulting in between 15 and 30 bags being collected in two hours.  The most common pieces of litter found are tin cans, plastic bottles and crisp packets, all of which pose a large threat to wildlife. 

The group has support from local businesses that allows them to maintain the kits, however running costs are low.  Lowri said, “It’s time really, and effort, the participation is much more important than the money involved.”

Two bags of rubbish collected in an hour from Roath Park

The council remove the litter collected free of charge and dispose of it on behalf of the group. 

Lowri urges people to get litter picking. “It’s good for your wellbeing to feel as if you’re doing something outdoors and the community will thank you for it”, she says.

If you are interested in establishing a scheme of your own, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website where you can contact council staff members for your area.

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