19 November 2019

Andrew Munro wins Guernsey community award for 'Pick It Up' initiative as documentary trailer is released

Carey Olsen's Andrew Munro has won the innovation award at the annual Guernsey Community Awards for his charity's 'Pick It Up Guernsey' initiative.

Pick It Up Guernsey is one of several active initiatives organised by The Clean Earth Trust and aims to encourage universal wombling and raise awareness of the ecological impact of littering. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and inevitably a lot of this initiative's work has focussed on this issue with Guernsey responding to a challenge issued by Andrew in May 2019 to collect 75,000 in a single day.

"It's very exciting to have received this award. What we do wouldn't be possible without the community getting behind us and I always found it tremendously encouraging to know that the environment matters so much to so many islanders," said Andrew, who founded the environmental charity in 2018.

The trust has also set up a litter picker lending scheme enabling the public to borrow litter pickers from libraries and beach kiosks around the island and the scheme has proved so popular that the pickers supplied by the charity have increased six-fold in the last year. Other initiatives include Womble52 where local businesses and organisations are encouraged to take on a wombling week and collect litter wherever and however they can around the island as well as distribution of pocket ashtrays, monthly community litter picks and annual events for World Clean Up Day and World No Tobacco Day. A repair café where members of the public can meet skilled volunteers in a social setting and be empowered to fix their possessions is also due to commence operations in January 2020 and is expected to bring mental health and social cohesion benefits as well as reducing the amount of waste produced.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Andrew now has ambitious global plans to establish Guernsey as a thought leader in this space and a model community for others to emulate. Plans include challenging the whole world to collect 4.5 trillion cigarette butts and producing a documentary 'Contagion' to track the trials and tribulations of Pick It Up Guernsey and showcasing the wonderful infectious community spirit in the island. The trailer for 'Contagion' was filmed over the summer with award-winning documentary maker Lucas Jedrzejak and released in November 2019. It can be viewed via Clean Earth TV's YouTube channel.

As well as winning the innovation award at the Guernsey Community Awards, Pick It Up Guernsey and Andrew were also shortlisted for organising committee of the year and outstanding individual achievement.