The Connected Places Award: Tideway

Longlisted for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Award 2018. 

Action and Impact
London’s sewerage system needs a radical upgrade to cope with the demands of the capital city well into the 22nd century.

Tideway is the business charged with building, maintaining and operating the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a new 25-kilometre super sewer running deep below London’s River Thames. However it has an even wider vision for the project: to reconnect Londoners with the river.

In partnership with the charity Thames21, the company has set up Thames River Watch (TRW) to help tackle the scourge of plastic waste and raise awareness about issues affecting the health of the river. The project sees volunteers from people living along the river recruited to collect data about the river’s litter pollution and its water quality. This information goes into a database and is used to create reports about the state of the river.

In an 18-month period, from April 2016 to September 2017, TRW collected more than 18,000 plastic bottles. In September 2017, 4,100 plastic bottles were removed from 19 sites on the Thames in one day; 40% were water bottles.

So far, such data has helped generate national media interest and has been used by the London Assembly Environment Committee to call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to take action on reducing plastic waste across the capital.