Lady Louise and Sophie Wessex open up on future Covid fears as royals go litter picking

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.Edward and Sophie and their children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, spent an hour and a half collecting rubbish on Southsea beach in Portsmouth, Hampshire, with volunteers from the Marine Conservation Society and a local beach cleaning group. Sophie, 55, and Louise, 16, sounded the alarm about a resurgence in single-use plastic and a lack of official advice on how to dispose of PPE and face masks, which have been found entangled in sea birds and other wildlife. “The medical profession, they know what to do with it,” Sophie said, worrying that the public had no idea what to do with face masks. “There is no information about how people should dispose of them.”

She added: “We aren’t being told what to do with them. Obviously we would want to encourage people to use these lovely reusable masks, but sometimes you can’t. It’s so difficult because councils are stretched at the moment.

“But if they were to make recycling units available for people to use. Medical facilities and the medical profession obviously know what to do with it, they will have recycling facilities.

“I don’t know whether they incinerate, I’m not sure….but we just don’t know what to do with them. In an ideal world we would all just use these lovely reusable ones.”

Louise, who joshed with her brother and spoke animatedly about starting A-Levels in English, history, politics, and drama, worried that much of the progress made in persuading people to use reusable plastic cups had been lost.

“Everything has got worse this year because everyone has gone back to non-reusable, non-recyclable plastic cups,” she said.

Sophie said: “It’s so great that campaigns like Keep Britain Tidy are going. It’s so important that we all get our to keep our communities clean.

“The trouble is that Covid has exacerbated the problem. But hopefully now that people, are actually seeing it, that maybe it will make people more aware that we have all got to play our part and do something.

“We are lucky enough to live next door to a lovely forest, and I come back with handfuls of litter every time we go for a walk.”

Louise agreed. Asked if she and her brother were made to come back with handfuls of litter, Louise said: “We want to…”

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