Local MPs Join Volunteers on Wet Wipe Island

Andy and Fleur see 'Quatermass-style horror' by Hammersmith Bridge

Andy Slaughter and Fleur Anderson with volunteers
Andy Slaughter and Fleur Anderson with volunteers

Andy Slaughter and Fleur Anderson, MPs for Hammersmith and Putney, joined over 50 volunteers taking part in the #BigWetWipeCount on 11 October .

Thames21, the charity dedicated to improving London’s waterways, had invited local people to count the wet wipes deposited on the foreshore on the south side of Hammersmith Bridge.

The disgusting deposit has grown so large - up to the size of two tennis courts - that it has been dubbed Wet Wipe Island and it could now be changing the course of the river as well as polluting it.

Hammersmith MP Any Slaughter tweeted @hammersmithandy: “A beautiful day and a productive morning on the banks of the Thames, but a messy job as I join @Thames21 and @PutneyFleur for the #bigwetwipecount. @thameswater @Ofwat @TidewayLondon @LondonPortAuth all present to see the Quatermass-style horror that is #WetWipeIsland.”

Fleur Anderson meanwhile summed up the thoughts of many, tweeting @PutneyFleur: “ Yuck! So many wet wipes on the Thames riverbank. Thank you to the 50 citizen scientists volunteers who joined the @Thames21 and @LondonPortAuth Big Wet Wipe Count this morning.”

She added,“ Plastic means they stay intact even after years.”

The Putney MP is campaigning alongside Thames21 in for wipes containing plastic to be banned from our shops to protect the River Thames. This week she has reintroduced her Private Members Bill, which she says has huge cross-party support. You can read more about this and offer your support here.

A count of wet wipes is held at Hammersmith Bridge
A count of wet wipes is held at Hammersmith Bridge

You can also read more about Thames21’s campaign here and on Twitter at #BanPlasticinWetWipes.

The last count on Wet Wipe Island held in May this year collected 1,976 wet wipes, with up to 170 found in one meter square and local volunteer Sam Morland found that the situation has not improved, tweeting @sam_morland: “ Strong turnout of “citizen scientists” today to count the number of wet wipes embedded in randomly selected square meters of the Thames foreshore by Hammersmith Bridge. Finding over 50 to 100 wet wipes in one sq meter within a few minutes was not unusual! “

Following the count, Thames21 tweeted @Thames21: “ A huge thanks to all the volunteers and partners who joined us for our Big Wet Wipe Count event earlier today. 50+ people joined us to assess the scale of the wet wipe problem on the Thames foreshore.”


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October 21, 2022