Anti-plastic campaign launched to prevent ocean pollution from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire's waterways

Collecting debris to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in rivers Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/PA Images

A campaign has being launched to stop plastic from the region's waterways ending up in the ocean.

Research from Coventry University shows that plastic accounts for 59 per cent of waste found along 25 canals it studies. It estimates 570,000 plastic items from England's rivers and canals reach the sea every year.

But the Canal & Rivers Trust, which manages the country's waterways, said they could be plastic-free within a year if every visitor removed one piece of rubbish.

Peter Birch, a policy advisor, said the Trust was "on a mission to eradicate plastics".

"By taking care of our nineteen Yorkshire & North East waterways, everyone can have beauty on their doorstep.

"Devastatingly, despite being vital green corridors in towns and cities such as Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, and York, our canals and rivers can inadvertently act as 'plastics highways' transporting rubbish out to sea.

He added: "Not only is this a huge problem for wildlife, which can be harmed, it also detracts from these special and important wellbeing places in our towns and cities."