February 18, 2020People

BinForGreenSeas initiative inspired by 9-year-old boy

The bright sunny day of Thursday 6th February saw the inauguration of the first of 3 new BinForGreenSeas in Swale.

The initiative was inspired by the campaign of 9-year-old Oliver Huggins to get recycling facilities on his local beach. Oliver, who is passionate about the environment, said he often notices people using the wrong bins. In an article in the local newspaper last year, Oliver outlined how important recycling is and called for the council to make recycling bins more readily available and clearly indicated, to try and encourage people to change their habits. “We need to have the right bins there, with clear signs, to tell people what rubbish goes where to help save the environment,” he said.

Oliver’s hard work and passion soon paid off! Swale Council acted on his suggestions by teaming up with GreenSeas Trust. With its bold design, bright colours and educational graphics, the BinForGreenSeas ticks all Oliver’s boxes: not only is it a useful facility but it also raises public awareness about the marine litter issue.

The eco-bin is already having a big impact in its two other locations. Both Arun and Blackpool council have reported a positive change in attitudes, with an increase in plastic waste being disposed of responsibly into the bin itself, resulting in a cleaner beach and promenade area in the vicinity of the bin.

"We are confident the BinForGreenSeas will be equally successful on Minster beach and change irresponsible littering behaviour," said Fazilette Khan, Founder Trustee of GreenSeas Trust.

Oliver Huggins
GreenSeas Trust

We were delighted to be joined by Oliver and his mum, Hayley, at the ribbon-cutting for the first of the Swale bins. Hayley explained that Oliver is “trying to influence other people around him and make people aware of how important it is to recycle and dispose of rubbish properly.”

“I’m very proud of him and his determination about this campaign to get something in place to help our region,” she added.

The first Swale bin was unveiled by Councillor Ken Ingleton, Mayor of Swale, and Councillor Tim Valentine, Cabinet Member for Environment from the Green Party, at the Minster Beach Esplanade. “We want to commend Oliver on his drive and commitment to help marine life and the environment,” said Councillor Valentine. “Thanks to Oliver and the new recycling bins, everyone can do their part to keep our environment and seas clean.”

“Swale Council is responsible for some of the most beautiful beaches and marshes where wildlife thrives,” said Fazilette. “By spreading awareness of the consequences of marine litter, through the educational statistics and emotive message on the bin front, we will halt the damage to fragile habitats, as well as improve our surroundings on an aesthetic level.”

The next bin will be installed on Sheerness beach.