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Message in a Bottle campaign launch is a success

Created on 05/07/2018 @ 13:30
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The organiser of the ‘Message in a Bottle’ campaign to reduce the use of plastics in Llanidloes and along the River Severn has declared the launch event a big success.
Llanidloes resident Philip Stallard estimates that around 400 children and adults, including Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, attended the launch at Llanidloes Football Club and word of the campaign has spread as far as the United States.
Pupils of Llanidloes and Trefeglwys Primary Schools, together with their families and teachers, assembled with campaign supporters to sing their own version of the famous Police chart topper ‘Message in a Bottle’ to a live band of local musicians, including nine-year-old drummer, Jay.
Around 150 adults and children then blitzed the town with a litter pick.
The day began at 6.30am with a group of around 17 people walking to the Source of the Severn to begin the litter pick. Later, Brenin Adventures led canoeists to retrieve plastic and other waste items from the stretch of the River Severn within the town, filling a canoe in the process.
Meanwhile, in Llanidloes Community Centre, a variety of events and entertainment took place during the day and the Marine Conservation Society was there to provide information about its important work.
Llanidloes Primary School pupils each wrote their own message in a bottle about plastic pollution and the bottles were used to make a giant jellyfish, which was on display.
The pop musician Nova Amour, who is originally from Llanidloes, gave the campaign exclusive access to footage of the making of his new video, ‘Birthplace’, which was aptly filmed underwater. The video was shown in the community centre.
Mayors from nearby towns accepted an invitation from Llanidloes Mayor Cllr Janet Crisp to attend the launch and she is encouraging them to support the campaign in their own towns.
Matthew Davies and Joby Newson filmed the day’s events which will be combined in a video to help spread the campaign to towns and villages downstream of Llanidloes along the full length of the longest river in Britain.
Following the launch, Philip this week gave a talk to Rotarians at a district meeting in Wrexham and to pupils of Llanidloes High School, who organised a plastic free day. He next plans to arrange meetings with town councils along the River Severn.
The campaign aims to:
* Encourage shops and other businesses to stop using so much plastic on products;
* educate children and their parents to stop buying so much plastic;
* remove rubbish from the River Severn and make the town litter free
* pick up litter on Mid Wales beaches.
Philip’s campaign was prompted by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II TV series, which broadcast alarming images of discarded plastics polluting oceans. He has been overwhelmed by the public and business support in Llanidloes.
With supporters joining the campaign from as far away as Kentucky in the United States and London, he’s hopeful that Message in Bottle will gather momentum.
“Llanidloes is virtually litter free this week and I have been asked by local people to arrange a monthly litter pick to keep the town that way, which I fully support,” he said. “Everybody wants to know what’s next. The launch of Message in a Bottle is just the start and I now want to spread it downstream.
“I would love to hear that someone has started their own campaign to clean up their stretch of river. To have gained the support of nearly 400 people in a couple of months is incredible.
“Hundreds more enjoyed the free events at the Community Centre throughout the day and then into the night at The Whistling Badger, Red Lion and other public houses where local bands played free to celebrate the launch.”
The campaign is being supported by the town and county councils, businesses, schools, organisations and residents of Llanidloes, the first town on the Severn.
The Co-op donated 3,000 textile shopping bags which 100s of children decorated with their own design. Both Talerddig Bakery and Co-op supplied food for the event where people received refreshments free of charge all day.
Lucy Crane, Co-op area manager, said: “Our Llanidloes store is delighted to work with Message in a Bottle. Reducing the environmental impact of products is, and always has been, at the core of the Co-op’s efforts.
“Working closely with our supply and waste-value chains, we are finding new ways of sourcing sustainable alternatives. Our members backed our ambition to make 100% of our own-brand packaging recyclable and we welcome measures designed to make recycling simpler and more accessible for all consumers.”
Other town businesses are also making changes to reduce plastic use and publicans plan to use reusable pint and half pint hard plastic pots for Llanidloes Carnival on July 14. Each pub normally uses around 1,500 single use plastic cups so this could reduce single-use plastic cups by more than 10,000 in just one event.
Photo: Message in Bottle supporters at the source of the River Severn.

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