Shell Promises Action Over Northolt Plastic Glove 'Shame'

LAGER Can collect thousands of discarded items near service station

LAGER Can volunteers outside the Shell petrol station
LAGER Can volunteers outside the Shell petrol station

Multi-national energy company Shell has been shamed into action after a group of anti-litter campaigners highlighted a problem being created by the company’s Northolt petrol station

LAGER Can (Litter Action Group for Ealing Residents) organised a litter pick near the forecourt of the station on Yeading Lane and discovered ‘thousands’ of discarded plastic gloves that are handed out by Shell to its customers.

The gloves were strewn across a wide area around the White Hart Roundabout which the groups says brings shame to the company.

Following an intensive two-hour clean-up operation, volunteers from the group presented a bulging sackful of the littered gloves to garage staff with a request to dispose of them and keep the litter problem under control.

A sales assistant and a security guard thanked LAGER Can for tidying up and praised the group's work for the community.

The plastic gloves are offered to drivers to protect their hands while filling up. Even though bins are provided, the gloves end up on the floor and blown by the wind into surrounding bushes and woodland, causing a hazard to wildlife and a litter nuisance.

A pile of plastic gloves near the Northolt filling station
A pile of plastic gloves near the Northolt filling station

LAGER Can's Cathy Swift said, "The rubbish has been building up for years. We alerted Shell management to the problem last December. We're calling on them to sweep the forecourt more regularly and put in better fencing to contain the gloves and other litter. Despite positive responses from the company, the situation clearly hasn't improved, so we're asking Ealing Council to take enforcement action."

A spokesperson for Shell said, “Shell is aware of the issue of the accumulation of disposable gloves around this service station and is working closely with the retailer to improve waste management systems. The team are doing their best to keep the site clean and tidy and are conducting regular litter picks to clear up any gloves that still escape the bins. We will continue to look for ways to improve this problem until it is resolved.”

The company says that the demand for forecourt gloves has increased significantly during the pandemic. One of the measures it has introduced to tackle the problem is a different design of glove at some service stations to see if they reduce associated litter.

LAGER Can started in 2017 and saw a surge in membership during the first Covid lockdown. The group now has more than 1600 volunteers and its grime-fighting work across Ealing Borough has been recognised with a Queens Award for Voluntary Service.


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2nd June 2021