Sebastian and co in the race against litter: Olympics legend tidies up a roadside with his children
In the race to rid the country of litter, he is undoubtedly one of the front-runners.
Olympic legend Sebastian Coe yesterday spoke of his enthusiasm for the Great British Spring Clean after tidying up a roadside with his children.
Litter has always been a bugbear of the double gold medal winner – and he has never been shy in confronting the culprits.
Lord Coe, president of governing body World Athletics, is the latest famous figure backing this year’s cleaning marathon.
Olympic legend Sebastian Coe (pictured with three of his children) yesterday spoke of his enthusiasm for the Great British Spring Clean after tidying up a roadside with his children
He said: ‘I support this initiative with great pleasure. My kids would laugh because they know that litter has always been my bete noire.
‘In fact, when I was running seriously, and was a bit faster than I am now, I took huge delight – after seeing rubbish being chucked out of a car window – in picking it up and catching up with the culprits at the traffic lights.
‘I would hand it back to them and say, ‘I think these things might be yours’. I certainly got some shocked looks as they wound the window down.’
Litter has always been a bugbear of the double gold medal winner – and he has never been shy in confronting the culprits. Pictured: Weekend litter pickers
Lord Coe, who won Olympic gold medals in the 1,500m race in the 1980 Moscow games and in the 1984 Los Angeles games, cleared rubbish near Horsham, West Sussex, with three of his four children, Maddy, 28, Pete, 25, and Harry, 26, last Monday.
He is calling on local athletics clubs to take part in the Great British Spring Clean, which is backed by the Daily Mail and organised by Keep Britain Tidy.
Landfill peril of hotel buffets
Greedy holidaymakers contribute thousands of tons to landfill by taking too much food from hotel all-you-can-eat buffets, a study has found.
Researchers from the University of Vienna found that the later guests eat breakfast, the more they waste. And the pricier the hotel, the greater the amount left over.
The study, which looked at more than 800 guests, found that up to 32g (1.1oz) of food was left on each breakfast plate.
Guests eating between 7am and 8am wasted just 1.8g (0.1oz) per person. This rose to 8.3g (0.3oz) between 8am and 9am before jumping to 31.2g (1.1oz) between 9am and 10am.
Study leader Dr Bettina Grun said guests often put as much food on their plates as possible on a first visit to the buffet because they are too lazy to make more than one trip. Later sittings waste more because guests worry food will run out before they can go for seconds.
However, she added that reducing food waste by around 38 per cent was important to prevent it being disposed of in landfill and causing environmental damage.
The study was published in the journal Annals of Tourism Research.
‘I think runners are generally respectful with regards to litter because we don’t want parks and pavements – our pitches – covered in detritus,’ he added. ‘I would be very happy to encourage any athletics clubs to join with football, rugby and cricket clubs at a local level to do their bit towards this excellent project to keep our open spaces clean.’
His backing comes after the campaign reached its target to clean one million miles of the UK.
So far, more than 160,000 Britons have pledged to tidy 1,011,900 miles of Britain’s roads, riverbanks, beaches and countryside.
Other big names who have supported this year’s campaign include former Countdown star Carol Vorderman, TV presenter Anthea Turner and former Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Chris Tarrant. As part of the drive, ten volunteers spent more than four hours picking litter yesterday at the 11th century Berkhamsted Castle in Hertfordshire, an English Heritage site that welcomes 75,000 visitors a year.
Adrian Barham, chairman of the Berkhamsted Castle Trust, said: ‘We are immensely proud to be supporting this campaign because the castle is a place of national importance and it is vital we keep it looking its best.
‘While most people take their litter, we do have a hardcore that do not and leave things like take-away coffee cups, ice cream wrappers and things that are capable of being taken home.’ Meanwhile, 50 volunteers on Brighton Beach were joined by ten local councillors for a litter pick yesterday to clear up the mess made by crowds soaking up the sun.
They filled 120 bags of rubbish with plastic bottles, drinks cans and polystyrene trays that were left close to the sea front.
Garry Meyer, from Brighton and Hove City Council, said: ‘The Great British Spring Clean is about making our nation a nicer place because there are so many problems with litter that needs addressing.’
The campaign ends on June 13 – which means there is still one more week to get involved.
The thongs we leave behind…
Discarded underwear was among heaps of rubbish found at a beach clean after the late May bank holiday.
Ladies’ thongs were some of the more unusual items tidied up by 20 dismayed litter pickers last week.
The volunteers, who filled more than 40 bin bags, slammed the beachgoers responsible for the ‘horrific’ mess at Lytham St Annes in Lancashire. The rubbish included flip flops, tents, plastic buckets and a trolley full of beer bottles.
Tracey Hope, who runs the group of volunteers with the RNLI, said the amount of litter brought her close to tears.
The 41-year-old said: ‘It’s just pure laziness, people go through the effort to take this stuff to the beach, enjoy their day, then they leave it behind.’
Her group spent every day last week clearing rubbish. Miss Hope added: ‘We found a lot of underwear.
We are not talking wet swimming costumes or kids’ underwear, we are talking a few pairs of thongs amongst the dunes. I don’t know what’s going on there.’