The organisers behind a youth climate event based on the Clyde in Glasgow have shared a photo of the moment a floating island of rubbish littered with single-use plastic appeared on the eve of COP26.

Just as the finishing touches were being made to transform The Ferry on the River Clyde into The Extreme Hangout, the mound of rubbish appeared alongside them on the river.

The team behind the youth climate change conference and entertainment hub said it was a “stark reminder” of why they are all here in the city trying to “figure this mess out”.

Speaking about the irony of it, co-founder of Plastic Planet, Sian Sutherland, said: “Plastic is our environmental crisis in plain sight. It is the canary in the climate crisis coal mine, so it is somehow fitting that our guilty habits have washed up on the shores of the Clyde and The Extreme Hangout.

“The fossil fuel industry plan to treble plastic production by 2040, emitting more GHGs than the coal industry.

“Let us make sure plastic is high on the COP agenda to stop this happening.”

Designed as a place where young people can come and get involved in the pressing issues being discussed at COP26, the event is offering free tickets to attend dynamic climate action panel discussions, created with One Young World, between the 1st and 11th November in Glasgow.

Guest speakers include former NASA Astronauts, climate activists, and journalists, with the likes of adventurer Bear Grylls, social activist Lily Cole, and race and climate justice activist Magid Magid, also set to appear.

Environmentalist and co-creator of The Extreme Hangout, Amber Nuttall, added: “Today, as I was confronted by the mound of floating plastic outside our event, it really bought home how important our mission at COP26 is.

“Our vision for THE EXTREME HANGOUT AT COP26 was fuelled by the realisation that the voices of young people are so often ignored, dismissed, or patronised.

“They are the ones who are going to inherit this planet and will be impacted most by the climate crisis, it is vital that their concerns be heard loud and clear at COP26, their active participation is crucial.”

The new youth hub will offer a place to discover exciting new eco brands and in the evenings from 7 pm to midnight guests can enjoy screenings of thought-provoking films and live acoustic music from top musicians and DJs.

Amber Nuttall added: “As a youth-focused brand that explores all corners of the earth through extreme and adventure sports, EXTREME wanted to help create a unique platform for these voices to be heard.

“With the support of One Young World, we have secured a very exciting, diverse, and inspiring roster of speakers, activists, artists, all with the aim to engage, educate, empower and embolden everyone who joins in.

“The hope is that everyone who comes to The EXTREME HANGOUT AT COP26 will leave with more hope, less fear, and a deeper understanding of how they can be part of the solution.”