THE Canal and River Trust is calling on people act locally to stop plastics entering the UK’s rivers and canals and ending up in the world’s oceans.

New research by the trust states that more than half a million items of plastic reach the oceans from its waterways every year.

The charity says that if every visitor picked up and recycled just one piece of plastic each time they visit, the canals and rivers could be plastic free in a year.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal and River Trust, said: “We know that life is better by water and more people than ever appreciate the benefits of spending time alongside our waterways, right at the heart of thousands of communities across the country.

“Plastic and litter free canals are beautiful, inspiring places for people to enjoy, whether for everyday use or a one-off visit, whilst also being hugely important habitats for some of the nation’s much loved and endangered species.

“Help us tackle a global issue by taking action on your doorstep today.”

The charity’s waterways in north west received more than 58 million visits last year and almost one in five people admitted to dropping litter, which means a lot of this ends up in the waterways.

The majority of litter found along and in the canals each year is potentially recyclable or could be re-used in creative and innovative ways.

To find out more about the Canal and River Trust’s ‘Plastics Challenge’ and to read the research report, visit