Wymondham: Six-year-old litter-picker 'trying to save the world'

Olivia Shannon with her litter-picker and bag of rubbish Image copyright Matt Shannon
Image caption Olivia Shannon has been picking litter in her home town of Wymondham after becoming inspired by school projects

A six-year-old girl who bought a litter-picker with her pocket money says she is "trying to save the world" from the scourge of plastic waste.

Olivia Shannon took to the streets of Wymondham, Norfolk after seeing the damaging effects of litter.

She has already completed a 6km (four-mile) litter-pick and hopes to make the world "a better place to live".

Dad Matt Shannon said: "It's very inspiring at a time when things have been so bleak."

Richard McIlwain, deputy chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "To have somebody this young get passionate and to want to do something about it is fantastic."

Image copyright Matt Shannon
Image caption Olivia bought a litter-picker from a garden centre using her own pocket money with the ultimate aim of making the world a better place

Olivia became interested in the long-term effects of litter while taking part in projects at Robert Kett Primary School, Wymondham.

Mr Shannon said: "Olivia is a great lover of the ocean turtles and was very sad to see that some of these get entangled in plastics out at sea."

He said when she spotted litter-pickers for sale at a garden centre, she immediately bought one with her pocket money.

She put her new tool to use during a walk around Wymondham with her dad and mum, Judy.

Olivia said: "I'm trying to save the world, and creatures, so it is a better place to live."

Mr McIlwain said there were two ways to combat the amount of litter "outside your front door": not dropping it in the first place or by having somebody like Olivia "passionate enough to give up their time to do something about it".

Image copyright Matt Shannon
Image caption Dad Matt Shannon said Olivia's efforts have cheered people up during the coronavirus pandemic

He said despite "the Blue Planet effect", the actions of people littering since the coronavirus lockdown was eased showed why it was important to see people "moving from education into action".

In a statement, Robert Kett Primary School said Olivia "has been such a star and we are all very proud of her achievements".

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