The talk of Cop26 is all well and good, but what about real action? Meet Luke Douglas-Home, The Coastline Runner, who runs the UK’s shores to sort out our trash, travelling some 5000 miles; Luke has been and continues to rid our beautiful nature of dog waste and plastic bottles. Starting in Great Yarmouth, Luke will be making his way across the country to see if your town passes the test of The Coastline Runner.
Luke’s run began on 1st November 2021, the start of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science. Running roughly the length of a half or full marathon during each stretch, Luke collects plastic waste in his UK Government, and Defra endorsed One Bag Zero Waste bag. At the start or end of each stretch’s run, Luke is handing in no-holds-barred reports to local authorities, leaving nowhere to hide shoddy environmental practises.
The run was unfortunately put on hold at the end of November following a harrowing accident that saw Luke unable to continue.
‘I was doing a marathon stretch across the marshes and coast of North Norfolk when I felt a numbing cold seep in. I pushed through and finished the run to find I had contracted a sort of ‘superficial frostbite’ that had ripped off a toenail in the marshes.’
Determined to complete his mission, Luke returned this April running the coast of Norfolk and capturing the imagination of those who hear about him. Already endorsed by local government programs, the run has also smashed its Just Giving crowdfunding goal by 198%.
The Coastline Runner project is an initiative of the foundation A Future Without Rubbish. Started in 2015 in Romania, the educational program taught children about the importance of environmental protection and saw a positive impact on UNESCO recycling activities. Today, A Future Without Rubbish has expanded to the UK and India.
So far, The Coastline Runner has already surpassed 250km of our shore, collecting over 60kg of plastic waste across the entire Norfolk County and Boston to Skegness. Travelling between runs, Luke is using the most local and transparent transport schemes available to make the mission as climate-positive as possible.