RIVER cleaners have pulled almost 70 shopping trolleys out of one small stretch of the Thames.
Port of London Authority workers spotted them stuck in mud at low tide.
The crew aboard the Driftwood III used a crane to haul up the trolleys scattered along the banks of the river near Thamesmead in east London.
They had been taken from a number of supermarkets including Morrisons, Aldi, Wilko and Iceland.
PLA spokesman Gareth Dorrian said: ‘It is the largest amount of trolleys that has ever been taken out of the river in one day.
‘I can only assume they were put there by litter bugs with bad motives.’
PLA marine manager Michael Russell added: ‘The PLA works very hard to clear rubbish from the river but this incredible find in one pocket of the tidal Thames shows what a mammoth task it is.
‘Throwing trolleys into the river is simply reckless — the tide goes out and they get stuck on the foreshore.
‘Dumping huge objects like this threatens wildlife habitats and could cause environmental damage.
‘They also look dreadful and, more importantly, could become a hazard to the thousands of ships navigating the Thames every year.’ The trolleys will now be recycled.
The PLA pulls more than 200 tonnes of floating rubbish from the river each year, including plastic bottles, traffic cones, bicycles and cars, using floating debris collectors.
They are sited at key points along the 95-mile tidal Thames to trap waste before it becomes a bigger problem, and the rubbish is then processed either to landfill or recycled.