Innovative litter boom launched at Chatham to combat litter problem in Marina.

Chatham Maritime Trust, Living River Foundation and MDL, have joined forces in a bid to clear the Chatham Maritime Peninsular and surrounding areas of litter and rubbish in the Litter Free Maritime.  This year Living River Foundation, Marina Developments Limited and Chatham Maritime Trust have been collecting litter commonly found discarded in the Marina Basin, estuary and surrounding area.

On the 29th November,  Mayor Habib Tejan has officially launched the Litter boom within Chatham Marina with a small gathering of supporters and officials. Living River Foundation and Chatham Maritime Marina will continue to monitor the boom and record the litter collected by it.

Litter found in the Marina and surrounding areas during the clean ups ranges from plastic bottles, fast food wrappers, straws and crisp packets. This a point of concern for the local residents and marina users.

The boom has been strategically placed here to passively collect and capture rubbish. When the wind changes, the rubbish is then trapped and so will not blow back into the centre of the basin to then get caught in between all the vessels and hindering its collection.

The materials were obtained by funding from Chatham Maritime Marina, Sea-Changers and Pirates Cave Chandlery. The internal buoyancy from bottles has been donated by local business, individuals, and from clean ups. Priory school students have left messages in or on the bottles asking for less litter to enter the environment. Built from recycled plastic and donated plastic bottles, it is no longer needed it can recycled again, has been built using volunteers

Once the litter has been caught and collected it is then planned to sort the waste into different types of plastic and sent for recycling. Some even going back to the manufacturing of the material used in the construction of the Boom. It is also hoped that items identified can be traced back to source, allow further interventions on land, under the Litter Free Maritime Project, in order prevent future leakage and assist local businesses in reducing their plastic use.

Living River Foundation co-founder Tanya Ferry said: “We are really excited at this opportunity to work with Chatham Maritime Marina to make some positive changes to our waterways and surrounding areas. It is hoped that the boom will inspire the community to get involved in some of our other projects and if proven successful will provide other marinas and authorities a cost effective method of capturing and collecting litter before it, sinks, breaks down and becomes Microplastics.”

Like many areas of the UK, the Chatham Maritime Peninsular suffers from discarded litter and everyday waste and in similar fashion to other coastlines, this enters the water of the docks and nearby estuary.  Once it has been released into the water it is much harder to collect and causes damage to the environment. Some items will remain for more than 400 years.