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Do you care about our waterways and seas being clean?

09th - 16th June 2023

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Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

The recent World Ocean Day sparked the interest of our young people about the state of our oceans.

Our oceans are often impacted by plastic pollution, with over 12 million tonnes of plastic being estimated to be dumped in the ocean every year.

Many of our seas have been made dirty by sewage releases directly into the water. greatly impacting the delicate ecosystems. Only 14% of our rivers have a ‘good’ eco status!

This week we asked our primary and secondary students the same question: “Do you care about our waterways and seas being clean?“

Their voice was clear, perhaps our waters should be too.


5-11 voter

"We cannot throw our waste into the world of wild life. If we look after them they will look after us. We need one another. We have to come up with a different solution rather then throwing sewage in our rivers and seas."


11-16 voter

"It's a disgrace that the government doesn't hold these water companies to account. They are making money by cutting corners."


16+ voter

"The water companies should be held responsible for dumping sewage. I think the owners are responsible, not the workers, but the decision-makers who decide to pollute."

89% of those aged between 11 and 16 said they care about keeping our waterways and seas clean.

  • Secondary voters voted 'Yes' in their majority to the question, "Do you care about our waterways and seas being clean?"
  • Many said that they should be able to swim and play sports in the sea without the risk of becoming ill from sewage-infested waters.
94% of those aged between 5 and 11 agreed, arguing that it's important to protect the wildlife living in our rivers and seas.

  • Primary voters were answering the same question, with the key word change of 'rivers' rather than 'waterways'.
  • An overwhelming majority voted 'Yes', with many advocating for the protection of wildlife living in our rivers and seas.
92% of our 16+ & College voters also voted 'Yes' to the question, "Do you care about our waterways and seas being clean?"

  • Our oldest voters, those aged over 16, also voted 'Yes' in the majority.
  • In the comments, they argued that the government needs to do more to prevent sewage from being dumped into our oceans.
Some argued that those dumping sewage into our oceans should be held responsible and made to stop.

  • A common theme throughout the comments was one of accountability.
  • Many voters argued that companies who are responsibile for dumping sewage should be held responsible and forced to change their ways.
  • Some voters suggested that the public should pay a higher water bill to accommodate these changes, however others disagreed and said the cost should fall on the companies responsible or the government.
waterways and seas overall results in doughnut format

Feedback from our Impact Partners...

Thank you so much to two of our Impact Partners for their responses to what the children said.

Jessica Jones, Living Seas Manager at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, who are a charity that works to protect and promote healthy ecosystems through campaigning and practical conservation work.

Ali Naulls, Community and Engagement Lead for Plastics Pollution at the Rivers Trust, who are an umbrella organisations for river trusts across the country who are working towards protecting and improving rivers and their catchment areas.