Whale Company paddle-boards down Thames with ‘message in bottle’ to MPs to tackle pollution

Carolyn Newton and Carlos De Sousa paddleboarding on the Thames collecting litter. Picture: The Whal

Carolyn Newton and Carlos De Sousa paddleboarding on the Thames collecting litter. Picture: The Whale Co - Credit: Whale Co

Carolyn Newton and Carlos De Sousa are nearing the end of a 200-mile epic paddle board journey along the Thames to help clean up the river and its east London tributaries and canals.

They are on the Limehouse Cut today for a ‘floating litter pick’ at Poplar Union until 3.30pm with Canal and River Trust volunteers, then on to a second litter pick at Old Ford Lock on the Lea River from 5.30pm with Lower Regents Coalition enthusiasts.

The two have been paddling daily for 17 days on their ‘stand up’ paddle boards made from recycled plastic bottles to raise awareness of the ‘throw away’ pollution on our waterways and to deliver ‘messages in bottles’ to Parliament along the way.

“Plastic pollution is such a threat that we’re in danger of irreversibly damaging our rivers and harming every species that lives in the water,” Carolyn said.

“Paddle-boarding and water sports are a way to influence decision-makers and push this issue further up the agenda.”

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They collected messages from schoolchildren on their voyage for their ‘message in a bottle’ campaign to raise awareness in Parliament where they made a stop-off to meet MPs.

Their Whale Company environment charity undertook 12 paddleboard marathons in 12 countries across Europe last year, documenting the plastic pollution they saw.

A closing ceremony to their Thames paddle-boarding challenge is being held on Friday evening at St Katharine’s Docks by Tower Bridge, when they reveal just how bad the pollution is that they found.

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