Corby workers’ town clean-up efforts not going to waste

Staff of Smurfit Kappa taking part in World Clean Up Day 2019. 'General manager Matt Watts with staff and their families who took part in a clean up around their factory.
Staff of Smurfit Kappa taking part in World Clean Up Day 2019. 'General manager Matt Watts with staff and their families who took part in a clean up around their factory.

Employees of a Corby packaging company have joined in a global litter pick movement for World Clean Up Day 2019.

Smurfit Kappa staff and their families rolled up their sleeves, grabbed compostable bin bags and took up their litter pickers for the day of action.

General manager Matt Watts with staff and their families who took part in a clean up.

General manager Matt Watts with staff and their families who took part in a clean up.

The event unites about 18 million volunteers in more than 157 countries in a bid to clean up the planet in one day.

A producer of paper and cardboard packaging, Smurfit Kappa Corby employs 300 workers.

Groups of the 37 adults and 22 children worked their way between the company’s three Corby sites on the Willowbrook and Weldon industrial estates.

Among the items retrieved by the litter pickers were bottles, cans, plastic bags, shopping trolleys and food wrappers.

Matt Watts, general manager, said: “This is not an attack on plastic, it’s an attack on waste.

“One-use packaging can be changed and manufacturers need to say we are going to change.

“We’re paper-based and therefore sustainable and we are a solution to the problem.

“A cardboard box can be recycled and be reused to make another cardboard box and they are rottable.”

Nine-year old Olivia Covell from Gretton took part in the the litter pick.

She said: “It was easy because there was so much rubbish. There were drinks cans and bottles everywhere.

“I’d say to people that they need to reduce, reuse and recycle and put your rubbish in the bin.”

Orgnaiser Bruce Ward, central services manager, said: “For every plastic bag or bottle that we pick up, we roughly remove 20g of plastic from our precious nature.

“If only five per cent of the global population picks up only one single plastic bag, it quickly adds up to 7,600 tons of waste from nature.

“I am proud that so many of my colleagues along with their families and friends at Smurfit Kappa Corby are participating in the second Global Clean-up Day.”

After the litter pick the volunteers returned to base where manager Matt presented the children with a bag of eco-friendly items including bamboo toothbrushes.

Matt added: “We all need to change - if we see a bit of rubbish on the floor we need to pick it up.”