Bizarre finds will end up in vintage litter museum

An unused catgut suture line, for stitches, with the sterile liquid still inside that is claimed to be from the 1920s. 

An unused catgut suture line, for stitches, with the sterile liquid still inside that is claimed to be from the 1920s. - Credit: Jason Alexander

Ipswich litter picker Jason Alexander is creating a museum dedicated to vintage rubbish after finding everything from old vials containing medical equipment to retro crisp packets dating back 30 years.

Chivers Rasberry Jam lid and old Walkers packets

Rubbish Walks Litter Museum has in its collection a Chivers Rasberry Jam lid and old Walkers packets - Credit: Jason Alexander

Jason hopes by showing people how long their plastic rubbish will last could make them more considerate when throwing something away. 

"If you don't put it in a bin then it stays in the environment for a long time as these physical pieces demonstrate," the 49-year-old said.

"A lot of people don't realise that if you drop something it will stay there for hundreds of years. 

"I have found 107 Smarties lids, which are all more than 25 years old."


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 Nestlé stopped doing tube Smarties in 1995 and this is when it also discontinued the colourful lids of the chocolate candy. 

Smarties discontinued their lids in 1995 but they are still being found in Ipswich

Smarties discontinued their lids in 1995 but they are still being found in Ipswich - Credit: Jason Alexander

Jason also recently found a small glass tube that contained a needle inside for sewing stitches, known as a catgut suture near Landseer Park.

The catgut zoomed in, which was found in Ipswich

The catgut zoomed in, which was found in Ipswich - Credit: Jason Alexander

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"It used to be a landfill site," he said, which could explain why this waste is coming to the surface now. 

"Things work their way up. That's how 100-year-old medical waste is found, though it has been unused."

Jason has already catalogued 185 items, ranging in age from from 20 to 100 years old, that he has found over the last three years to display online as part of his Litter Museum. 

Chivers Rasberry Jam lid and old Walkers packets

Rubbish Walks Litter Museum has in its collection a Chivers Rasberry Jam lid and old Walkers packets - Credit: Jason Alexander

"I'm primarily interested in wanting a physical collection," he said. Jason has also previously done talks at schools in and around Ipswich showing how long crisp packets and washing up liquid bottles take to break down.   

"The only difference between old and new plastic is you can show how the ink has faded.

"I hope this is a great way to raise awareness." 

Rubbish packets and plastic bottles

Treets along with Walkers packets also form part of the Rubbish Walks Litter Museum collection - Credit: Jason Alexander

You can also add your own items to Jason's museum. To qualify for entry into the museum items must have been found during a litter pick, river clean or beach clean, be clearly identifiable and be at least 20 years old.

A full display of found items by Jason

A full display of found items by Jason - Credit: Jason Alexander

For more see rubbishwalks.co.uk/litter-museum.

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