Teenager inspires with litter clean-up

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has urged Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon to bolster their anti-littering message to encourage protection of the countryside, with levels of littering on rural roads on the increase.

The local MP made the call after meeting with a local teenager, Jack Rodgers aged 14, who collected 13 bags of rubbish on a one mile stretch on the Bluestone Road, Portadown.

Carla Lockhart said: “Firstly I want to commend Jack for the incredible effort in gathering up so much rubbish and helping to clean up his local area.

“He is a credit to his family and local school, Killicomaine Junior High School.

“I know others are also doing this in various parts of the area, and it is appreciated. What a fine example of community Jack has shown us all.

“What this shows of course is that we have a serious problem with litter in our countryside. Drive or walk down any country road and it is strewn with plastic bottles, takeaway packaging, even face masks. It is quite disgraceful and sadly reflects a lack of respect and care for the beautiful environment that we have all around us.

“We need the local Council to really ramp up the messaging on anti-littering, increase enforcement on this issue, as well as increase their own litter picking activity alongside the local Department for Infrastructure.

“We also need the NI Executive to allocate more resources to addressing this problem, as well as Government looking at ways of reducing single use plastics. This is something I am pushing for at Westminster.

“If everyone just brought their rubbish home this wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly it is, and it needs a proactive and sustained campaign to tackle the attitudes behind littering, the culprits who do it, and the volume of waste we produce. What Jack has highlighted has certainly inspired me to redouble my efforts in this regard.”

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