Around 300 paddle boarders are expected to gather on the Thames around Richmond this month to clear plastic waste.

Richmond Business Improvement District (BID) is planning the Get on Board – Say No To Plastic Pollution event for June 21.

It will see around 100 additional volunteers from businesses, as well as residents, charities, and schools group together to clear waste from the river, as well as the nearby towpaths between Petersham and Kew Bridge.

Richmond BID chairman, Erick Kervaon said: “This event works on a number of levels.

“From a local perspective, the Thames is one of our greatest assets and a healthy river not only supports business and leisure activities it helps sell Richmond to the wider world.

“However, the event also has a much bigger purpose. We are all responsible for our environment and our planet. Every town and every community needs to play its part.

“We are claiming that this event is the world’s biggest community river clean up and we are challenging other towns and cities to run their own clean up and prove us wrong”.

The event has 3 main aims: To highlight the problem of single use plastic; to clear existing plastic waste from the river and its surrounds; and to prevent future plastic pollution.

On the day of the event, pubs and bars on Richmond riverside will, for the first time, trial the use of reusable plastic cups using a deposit system. Drinkers will be encouraged to return the cups to the pub or bar they got them from.

According to the Port of London Authority, plastic debris is now the most common form of rubbish found on the Thames and most of that plastic has only been used once. Research by Bangor University found 84.1 pieces of micro-plastic per litre of water in the Thames and another study by the University of London and the Natural History Museum found that more than a quarter of fish in the Thames Estuary are eating plastic.