Joint operation by Cardiff Rivers Group and St Mellons Clean Up

Crisp packet dating back to 1985 found by community litter pickers

The St Mellons group, who collected 133 bags of rubbish in their latest operation, made the surprising find in a stream

A CRISP packet dating back 37 years to 1985 was among the items of litter scooped up by a litter picking group.

St Mellons Clean Up is a volunteer-run group that cleans the local area on a regular basis. It was set up in 2019 and collects rubbish from parks, footpaths and even low-level water.

Their most recent litter pick was run in conjunction with Cardiff Rivers Group where they collected 133 bags of litter. Around 40 volunteers helped in the operation.The litter collected was from Train Park and surrounding areas in St Mellons.

Their operation with Cardiff Rivers Group – a charity that aims to keep Cardiff’s waters free of litter pollution – allowed access to better equipment to be able to wade into deeper water and collect more litter.

Some of the litter bags collected in St Mellons. Photo: St Mellons Clean Up

“We try to have a pick each month with our team. We have around 16 people on average helping us pick but this can be anyone who wants to help out,” says Alena Ball who is on the committee of St Mellons Clean Up. She has lived in the area for 40 years and loves keeping it tidy and litter-free.

According to Ms Ball, those who have helped range from elderly people to children and whole families.

The most common litter found is plastic bottles and small snack wrappers.

She added: “While it is good we are doing our bit for the environment and picking up these actions, people need to be more educated on how things like crisp wrappers take decades to decompose and the harm that they do.”

While the volume of junk in the recent pick may suggest that the issue is getting worse, Ms Ball is keen to point out that there has not been a significant increase in levels of litter over the last few years. The group aim to consistently clean and keep their local community tidy.

“My message to the community is something that I was taught at a young age: If you go anywhere, take your litter home with you,” said Ms Ball.

Anyone interested in helping the group on their picks can keep updated on their Facebook page.