Havant Borough Council has rewarded a special dog for her environmental efforts.
Koko, an eight-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, regularly picks up bottles during her walks which are then recycled by her owner and local resident Talan James.
After sharing their story with us, Koko and Talan were invited to meet the Mayor of Havant and presented with the 'Canine Award for Services to the Environment'. This prestigious award is given to clever canines doing their bit for the environment - with Koko being the very first to receive it.
During her visit, she also enjoyed some doggy treats and showed off her collection of plastic bottles ready to be recycled.
Koko has been an eco-warrior ever since she was taught how to fetch using plastic bottles as a puppy. Over the years, it's estimated she has helped recycle more than a thousand items littered in parks across the borough. Recycling a single plastic bottle will save enough energy to power a lightbulb for three hours or more.
The Mayor of Havant, Councillor Diana Patrick, said: “When we heard about Koko’s amazing work we felt she deserved a special award. She’s truly a special dog, and her efforts show how doing something little each day can make a big difference to the local environment.”
Koko’s visit coincides with Recycling Week, a celebration of recycling and sustainability.
Havant Borough Council has already taken steps to become greener by working with Final Straw Solent to reduce plastic waste in the borough, and by stopping the use of plastic cups and straws at the Plaza. In addition, council staff have set up their own TerraCycle scheme to ensure their used plastics don’t go to waste.