Manx Telecom| Parish Walk success in race to eliminate waste | August 2022

Walkers also support new tree-planting initiative.

Date: Thursday 04 August 2022

Ray Cox and Falk Horning

It’s the most popular community mass participation event on the Isle of Man but this year’s Manx Telecom Parish Walk was also notable for what it didn’t do after the success of a number of environmental initiatives introduced to reduce its impact on the environment.

Chief among these was a reduction in the amount of rubbish from the event sent to the Energy From Waste plant - from a whopping 2.4 tonnes of rubbish in 2021 to just 360kg this year. This was achieved by bringing in a zero single use plastic strategy to avoid reliance on plastic bottled water and the use of collapsible reusable cups, backed by sustainability partners IFGL and Mann Made Group. Other waste was composted or recycled.

On top of this, 262 entrants to the Parish Walk opted to give a £5 donation to the Isle of Man Woodland Trust in lieu of receiving the traditional Parish Walk T-shirt which is normally included in the registration pack. This generated £1,310 which will be used by the Isle of Man Woodland Trust to plant around 262 saplings in an effort to restore and revive the Isle of Man’s native woodlands.

Race organiser Ray Cox said he was delighted at how well the two initiatives had worked. “The reusable cups were very popular and enabled walkers to refill easily at the water stations, eliminating the need for providing water in plastic bottles. We did still have some plastic in the waste but it was drastically less than in other years and everyone seemed to be behind the objective of making the event as environmentally friendly as possible.

“It is important we do what we can to minimise the impact of over a thousand people taking part in such a big and such a long event. We will be working to see what other initiatives we can introduce in the future to help with this.”

Falk Horning, Chair of the Isle of Man Woodland Trust, said the organisation was thrilled to receive the donation towards local tree-planting on the Island.

“Our aim is to protect, maintain and create new woodland on the Isle of Man to support our biodiversity, provider cleaner air, better soils and simply create nicer places to be. We predominantly use native Manx species and the 262 saplings will give us a good start to our next tree planting season which will begin in October.

“We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the Isle of Man Woodland Trust instead of receiving a T-shirt and also thank the race organisers to facilitating this to take place.”

Manx Telecom CEO Gary Lamb added: “This year’s environmental initiatives have been a huge success and, as a community focused business and Isle of Man Biosphere partner, we are hugely supportive of making this wonderful event as environmentally-friendly as possible.

“The reduction in waste was quite staggering and shows what can be achieved with some good planning while the tree planting is a gift to future generations who will be able to enjoy the great work of the Isle of Man Woodland Trust in rewilding parts of our Island.”