A GROUP of volunteers is keeping Taunton clean with regular litter picking sessions.

Tidy up Taunton CIC group is now meeting every fortnight to collect rubbish in different parts of the town.

The initiative started in January 2020 and since then volunteers met regularly to keep Taunton clean and tidy.

One of the volunteers, Tim Walker, explained how the project started after the first litter pick of 2022 took place yesterday, January 16.

Mr Walker said: “It was great to be back out there litter picking after the break over Christmas.

“Turnout was amazing, and it was so good to see so many regulars again, and we were joined by newcomers too which was wonderful. The children who came were so enthusiastic and really got stuck in.

“We started out by The Weir and were going to tidy up French Weir but it looked alright really so we headed over to Longrun and the Tesco/stream area and found so much litter.

“The ditches were full of it, and a lot of large debris to drag to the pile too.

“This is a ridiculous amount of litter to find, and it's not as though there aren't tons of bins around, although maybe 80 per cent of them were already completely full and in dire need of emptying.”

Somerset County Gazette:
Some of the litter collected by the group on January 16

Mr Walker owns the My Carbon Coach shop in Taunton town centre and has also recently returned to university to study environmental science.

He added: “On one of my walks, I realised there was a great amount of litter. There was an awful lot of plastic, mainly drink bottles and cans, disposable coffee cups, and lots of alcohol bottles.”

Mr Walker also explained how some litter found during the group’s sessions can explain the long-term impact rubbish has on the environment.

He said: “We have a competition in our group – we check who can find the oldest bit of plastic. We found a crisp packet from 1994 and a drink can from 1987.”

He also said he feels “positive” as “more people are getting on board” even though the group has to revisit some areas “over and over”.

“Things, unfortunately, are not getting better in terms of litter not being dropped but they are getting better in terms of people beating it,” he also added.