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Canal Clean-Ups Help Local Wildlife

Hear from 1st Year Biomedical Sciences student Sam Jarada how students have been helping to maintain our local waterways.

Students with litter pickers next to the Regent's Canal

Writer: Sam Jarada, 1st Year Biomedical Sciences student and Green Mary student sustainability group member

Beginning in October, students from the Green Mary student sustainability group have been participating in canal clean-up events to care for the stretch of the Regent’s Canal next to the Mile End campus. 

The events involve using nets and litter pickers to collect debris such as plastic cups and bottles, food wrappers and food containers from the waterway and surrounding areas.

Most of the items we manage to collect are non-biodegradable, so they cannot be broken down within the natural environment.  Some items release toxic by-products in the water that could harm both humans and local wildlife.

I chose to get involved in the canal clean-up events because I saw this as an opportunity to help in cleaning the water and enjoy spending time with people who share a similar interest in sustainability. It was challenging trying to fish the items out of the canal and I was astonished by the amount and types of items I found such as numerous lighters and a wine bottle.

Get Involved

Our canal clean-ups run regularly throughout the year and sign-up is available on the Students’ Union website. If you’d like to know when our next clean-up is taking place, please contact Sustainability Coordinator Tom Stockton on



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