We recycle as much as we can, Duke of Cambridge tells environmentalists

2 December 2019, 11:34

Duke of Cambridge
Royal tour of Kuwait and Oman – Day 2. Picture: PA

William walked the shore of mudflats in the Persian Gulf which are a key stopover point for migrating birds.

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed his family recycles “as much as we can” but he has concerns about what happens to their waste.

William’s comments came as he joined litter pickers on a beach in Kuwait, tackling the scourge of plastic pollution, and indulged in a spot of birdwatching.

Speaking during a visit to the windswept Jahra nature reserve near Kuwait City, where the volunteers were working, the duke told the young environmentalists: “Where does your recycling go? Out of town?”

William, who has just begun a four-day tour of the Middle East, added: “We recycle as much as we can at home but I worry about the chain, what happens to it? We need joined-up thinking – it’s a joined-up effort.”

The Duke of Cambridge
The duke joined special teams of litter pickers on the beach (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The duke had walked the shore of Persian Gulf mudflats following a trail of plastic bottles, discarded packaging and carrier bags washed up at the reserve.

He stopped to chat with representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental volunteers and members of other groups who are following the global movement and tackling the issue.

William told the group there needed to be a worldwide litter-picking day, adding: “A lot of people lead busy lives, we have a quick, fast-paced life, but we need to be more conscious about it in the future.

“We all need to shift our mindset and you guys are part of the solution.”

The duke chatted to Carina Maceira, 20, a teacher, and Yousef Al-Shattii, 32, a geologist, who co-founded Trashtag Kuwait, a a non-profit organisation working to clear public spaces of pollution.

Duke of Cambridge
The duke rides in a buggy during his visit to Kuwait City’s wetlands at the Jahra nature reserve (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He sympathised with the activists, saying: “It must be quite demoralising for you to be out there all day and then come back and find it all full up again.”

William added: “It’s amazing that you guys are doing what you do, but we need to do more to stop [the pollution] in the first place.”

Dr Abdullah Al-Zaidan, director general of technical affairs for the Environment Public Authority, which manages the reserve, joined the duke for the visit.

He said the site was important nationally and globally as a haven and refuelling stopover for hundreds of species of migratory birds, and others that make it their permanent home.

Dr Al-Zaidan added: “We have four eco-systems here – salt marsh, freshwater, marine and coastal systems. We are trying to raise awareness about what we have.

Royal tour of Kuwait and Oman – Day 2
William also used a telescope while at the reserve (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“The young people here are taking responsibility for combating the pollution, 10 to 15 years ago we would have had a couple of volunteer teams – now there are tens of groups.”

William toured the reserve by golf buggy and before he met the litter pickers, he was taken to a bird hide where he tried to spot some of the local wildlife.

During his buggy tour, he glimpsed lesser flamingos in the distance and saw a greater spotted eagle.

Joking with the press as he looked through a set of binoculars, when he stopped briefly, he said: “Ah, a lesser spotted media pack. Well known in these parts.”

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