Celebrating Trash Free Trails: Recognized by the European Commission for Citizen Science

Celebrating Trash Free Trails: Recognized by the European Commission for Citizen Science

We’re excited to share some fantastic news from our friends at Trash Free Trails! The not-for-profit has received an Honorary Mention in the European Commission’s prestigious Impetus Prize for Citizen Science for their groundbreaking State of Our Trails Report. This recognition is a huge milestone and well-deserved for the incredible work they do.

Credit Rich Baybutt

Credit: Rich Baybutt

The State of Our Trails Report: A Closer Look

Last November, Trash Free Trails unveiled the eye-opening State of Our Trails (SoOT) Report, highlighting the staggering litter problem in the UK. The report revealed that an estimated 9.1 million items of single-use pollution litter the public rights of way in the country. This report wasn’t just a wake-up call; it was a community-driven effort made possible by the hard work of over 5,000 volunteers from hundreds of locations across the UK.

These dedicated volunteers, or ‘Citizen Scientists,’ collected and submitted data on the litter they encountered on their trails. This collective effort forms the backbone of the SoOT Report, making it a unique and invaluable resource in the fight against single-use pollution.

Recognition from the European Commission

The European Commission, in collaboration with Ars Electronica, awarded Trash Free Trails an Honorary Mention in the Impetus Prize for Citizen Science. This award celebrates outstanding achievements in the advancement of knowledge through the empowerment of civil society. Out of over 500 applications from across Europe, Trash Free Trails stood out for their remarkable activation of volunteers and the impactful data collected through their efforts.

Dom Ferris, CEO of Trash Free Trails, expressed his gratitude, saying, “Our volunteers are the soul of Trash Free Trails. Without their donation of time and talent and the invaluable data they collect, we wouldn’t be where we are. It’s a tremendous honor to have their contribution recognized by the European Union.”

Ongoing Impact and Future Goals

The State of Our Trails Report is an ongoing program that seeks to understand the causes, prevalence, composition, and impacts of single-use pollution on trail ecosystems and their users. To date, volunteers have removed and recorded over 200,000 items of litter, documenting brand presence, animal interactions, and the levels of nature connection in volunteers.

This recognition from the European Commission is a testament to the power of community and the impact that dedicated volunteers can have on addressing environmental issues. It’s a proud moment for Trash Free Trails and all of us at Sprayway, who support and believe in their mission.

Join the Movement

We’re incredibly proud to partner with Trash Free Trails and support their mission to protect our trails and wild places. Their work not only helps keep our outdoor spaces clean but also inspires a deeper connection with nature and a greater sense of responsibility towards our environment.

To learn more about the Impetus Prize and the State of Our Trails Report, and to get involved with Trash Free Trails, check out the link here.