The Clean Europe Network defines litter as "waste of small size in publicly accessible areas that has been improperly discarded in the environment, whether wilfully or by negligence”.

Litter is the only core topic in the Eco-Schools programme, and must be one of the three Topics covered in order to achieve Green Flag Award status.  


Eco-Schools At Home Activities

Litter Survey Activity - #EcoSchoolsAtHome

A litter survey helps us discover where and what types of litter are causing a problem in our community. We then have a better idea of how to fix the problem.  An activity for families to do at home to support Eco-Schools activities at school.

Conduct a Litter Survey

Litter Analysis - #EcoSchoolsAtHome

An activity to convert data to a graph to make it easily understood by anyone who sees it.

Analyse your survey data

Featured Resources

Eco-Schools Curricular Map - Litter Topic

Our revised curricular maps showing Experiences and Outcomes related to the Litter Topic. 

Download the curricular map for Litter

Organise a Clean Up

Taking part in a Clean Up is a great way for people of all ages to get into the fresh air together, enjoy some exercise, and make a real, visible difference at the same time. on our website and we will send you a FREE Clean Up Kit full of stickers and resources. Our partners The Helping Hand Company offer a discount to schools purchasing litter picking equipment.

Register your Clean Up

Helping Hand Environmental - Clean Up Equipment

If you are interested in Clean Up kits and equipment all our volunteers and groups are able to get a discount off any order from Helping Hand Environmental on their website - simply put in KSBGROUP as the discount code. Or use the order form for schools, with the discount already applied, below.

Use the Helping Hands order form.

Ocean Plastics Live Lesson with Doug Allan

Wildlife photographer, cameraman and Upstream Battle Ambassador Doug Allan hosted two live lessons on his work filming shows like Blue Planet, his thoughts on marine litter and answering questions from pupils. 

Watch again here.

Inspiration - Marine Litter Pathways Art Competition

In 2018 we organised a schools’ art competition in partnership with Blair Drummond Safari Park asking pupils to design an art piece thinking about marine litter from source to sea. Winning entries are on display at the safari park. Here is a selection of the best entries for Litter Topic inspiration!

View Marine Litter Art case studies

Wrigley Litter Less Campaign

Our Wrigley Litter Less campaign aims to reduce litter and affect long-term behaviour change among youth. Run by the Foundation for Environmental Education's Eco-Schools programme with the support of the Wrigley Company Foundation.

Have a look at what schools have achieved in previous years in our Litter Less Case Studies page.

Marine Litter Resources

There is a clear path from land to sea, with litter dropped on our streets and beaches ending up in our waterways and eventually in the ocean. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 80% of marine and coastal litter comes from land based activities.   

Upstream Battle - Keep Scotland Beautiful

Keep Scotland Beautiful's showcase campaign focusing on the Clyde to stop marine litter at its source.  Sign up for campaign updates and help stop litter's journey from source to sea.

Join the Upstream Battle.

Marine Litter Posters - Clean Up Scotland

If your school is located near the coast or has planned a visit to a favourite beach, these posters containing facts, types and sources of litter might be a useful part of your litter topic. 

Download Clean Up Scotland posters

Cool Seas Explorers (Primary) - Marine Conservation Society

Explore a range of primary learning outlines. Designed to be delivered as one lesson or over a series of lessons, enabling flexibility to suit different settings, and divided into younger years (roughly 5 - 7 years) and older years (roughly 7 – 11 years).

Explore and download teaching resources

Cool Seas Investigators (Secondary) - Marine Conservation Society

Cool Seas Investigators (CSI) projects engage students aged 10-16 years in key marine conservation issues. Each project involves young people analysing data, working collaboratively and generating solutions to a real-world issue, which has both local and global significance. Includes the Unflushables - A project developed by the MCS in conjunction with Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland, to target the issue of sanitary waste reaching our beaches.

Explore and download teaching resources

Great Nurdle Hunt - FIDRA

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billions are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores. The Great Nurdle Hunt aims to end further industrial plastic pellet or 'nurdle' pollution into Scottish seas.

Join the Great Nurdle Hunt!

Marine Litter Lesson Plan - World's Largest Lesson

An excellent lesson plan on marine litter from The World's Largest Lesson on the threat of litter to ocean life, featuring UNEP Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh. Suitable for 8-15 year olds.

Download the lesson plan

Departement Omgeving - Zack's Journey

A great story for Early Years about the journey of a plastic bag from the shop to the ocean. Shared with the kind permission of the Eco-Schools National Operator for Flanders - Departement Omgeving

Read Zack's Journey

Stride Global Citizenship Magazine - Journey of a Plastic Bag

Map the journey of a plastic bag from supermarket to ocean using a photograph sequencing activity.

Download Journey of a Plastic Bag

Litter Prevention Resources

Littered areas attract more litter, with people more likely to drop litter somewhere that already has a problem. As well as being an eyesore, litter affects both our health and the environment. The presence of litter has been shown to make people feel less safe, with a greater fear of crime and more health issues in areas where there is a higher level of litter.

Cleaning up litter is also expensive and time consuming. In Scotland, we spend more than £1 million every week cleaning up litter and flytipping and with tourism worth over £4bn a year the consequences are clear.

Roadside Litter Classroom Presentation

A PowerPoint presentation to start a conversation about roadside litter in your classroom. Comes with discussion notes.

Download Roadside Litter classroom presentation

Roadside Litter Caption and Colouring Sheet

An activity to accompany the Roadside Litter classroom presentation.  Pupils can colour in our Roadside Litter Campaign mascots and say why it's important to give your litter a lift!

Download Roadside Litter colouring sheet

How to carry out a Clean Up Survey

A quick survey tool to collect data on how littered your Clean Up area is. An excellent tool to use for Measuring for the Litter topic.  Share your survey results with us at Keep Scotland Beautiful and contribute to our work.

Download Clean Up survey materials

Litter Pick Plus Toolkit

Our Litter Pick Plus Toolkit is your guide to running a successful Clean Up event and is the result of our 15 years of experience working with a network of community groups to deliver a national Clean Up campaign.

Download the Litter Pick Plus Toolkit

Roadside Litter Campaign

No matter what the excuse, littering anywhere is never ok. Littering on roadsides is especially problematic because it is so difficult to clean up.  That's why we say: Give your litter a lift. Take it home!

Find out more about roadside litter and help spread the word.

Dress Up Like a Crisp Packet!

Keep Scotland Beautiful has a range of mascot costumes available to help raise awareness of issues such as litter and dog fouling. Costumes are available to schools free of charge but donations are welcomed. There are three dog costumes, one cigarette butt, one chewing gum, a bottle, a coffee cup and a crisp packet.

Borrow one of our mascot costumes for your next campaign

Zero Waste Scotland – Working With Schools to Prevent Litter

Schools across Scotland are finding inventive ways to fit litter into their lesson plans. Integrating litter prevention into the curriculum could be a lot easier than you think.

Download lesson plans on Litter

Goal 12 Lesson Plans - World's Largest Lesson

Litter issues and waste issues go hand in hand. A circular economy approach prevents waste, helps to prevent litter and costs associated with cleaning it up. 

Understanding Sustainable Living for 11-14 year olds and

Understanding the Challenge of Finite Resources suitable for 12-19 year olds both generate discussions on sustainable living and circular economy.

Dog Fouling

Even pets aren’t allowed to litter. Dog fouling is one of the most noticeable problems affecting our streets with one in every six sites affected despite fines doubling in 2016 and 7 out of 10 people saying it is the cleanliness problem that bothers them most. The biggest risk from dog fouling is an infection from roundworm spreading toxocariasis, which can cause eye damage.

Bincentives - Marine Conservation Society

New, innovative, anti-littering campaign for secondary schools. Based on an idea from Hampton High School in London, winners of our CSI Litter Challenge project, Bincentives motivates students to take action on the global, social and environmental catastrophe of litter. Focusing on a series of posters displaying emoji messages, the campaign engages students by rewarding positive behaviour with school-determined rewards.

Download teaching resources

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