Port of London Authority






> Cruise ship christening
   – a new Thames record

> Time to talk – our Annual
   Stakeholder Forum

> Breaking the hound
   barrier – flood defence
   dog rescue

> The AHOY Centre

> Rib Masters fined
   for river offences

> How London schoolkids
   learn about their river

> Booking a container?
   There’s an app for that

> Thames Oilport –
   a facility reborn

> Here comes the fun
   – summer recreation
   on the Thames

> Thames Skills Academy

Bin it, for a Cleaner Thames

A multi-coloured work of art, made entirely from litter collected on the Thames foreshore, is highlighting the shocking levels of dumped plastic in London’s river.

Michelle Reader’s A Bellyful of
was created after experts revealed that worrying numbers of
fish living in the tidal Thames have plastic in their gut.

The work is part of the Cleaner
Thames Campaign, launched by
the Port of London Authority’s (PLA), Tideway and Thames 21, last year following research done by experts
at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the Natural History Museum. It showed that three
quarters of Thames flounder,
a bottom-feeding fish, had consumed plastic. More than a fifth of smelt that were studied also consumed plastic.

Michelle used litter collected by the PLA on the 95-mile stretch of the
tidal Thames that it looks after.

The sculpture, which shows a
shoal of smelt, includes containers, bottles, shoes and even hats.
She said: “It was an interesting challenge to turn this collection of litter into something recognisable and visually appealing that would
tell the story in a way that could

capture people's imagination.
I wanted to inspire people to think positively about what happens to their waste.”

PLA environment manager Tanya Ferry revealed that the authority collects 300 tonnes of litter and driftwood from the Thames every year, much of which is made up of material such as plastic bottles.

“That’s the equivalent weight of 24,000 discarded water bottles and is probably only a small share of the total amount being dumped that damages our marine environment,” she said. “A Bellyful of Plastic is a colourful reminder of what’s being done to our marine environment.
“The amount of waste being dumped in the Thames is simply hard to stomach and that’s why we’re working hard to clean it up.”






Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200
Give us your feedback