We’ve joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy in England and Keep Wales Tidy in an urgent call to action to tackle post lockdown litter. Together we’re urging people to do the right thing and bin their litter or take it home.
We hope this open letter, signed by all three chief executives, sends a clear message to everyone as restrictions ease.
Dear Great British People,
As we approach the early May Bank Holiday - and as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed across the UK - many of us are looking forward to travelling to visit family and friends around the country and to rediscovering the parks, beaches and hills we have all missed.
Yet, sadly we also know that we can expect to see more litter left as people return to the places that many of us have come to appreciate so much over the last twelve months.
The nationwide frustration and increased awareness of litter and the state of local spaces following the first lockdown galvanized action. We have seen communities come together and reconnect with their local neighbourhoods more, but we have also seen a ‘lockdown litter effect’ with increasing numbers of people being dissatisfied with the levels of litter, dog fouling and flytipping.
Across the UK, we have been working for decades to tackle the complex behaviours of those that litter and make it easy for people to do the right thing. We know that there isn’t a quick, or cheap, fix. We know that without the passion and commitment of those we work with things could be far worse. We know that only by working together can we make our countries the places we want them to be.
We want to build on the increasing efforts of those who not only do the right thing with their rubbish, but also volunteer to clean up after those who don’t.
Our joint call out is simple – to those who are proud of the country they live in and are frustrated – join us to help combat the problem. To those who haven’t worked it out yet – respect the places you visit. Use a bin, if there aren’t any or they are full, take it home but don’t litter.
Together we can make a difference. Together we can stop the looming litter emergency. Together we can turn anger into action. You can help us reset your community’s relationship with litter.
Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful commented, “At a time when we need our outside spaces more than ever before Scotland is facing the prospect of a litter emergency. Our polling shows that during the first lockdown, 29% of people thought that the amount of litter blighting our beautiful country got worse.
“Without the ongoing support of community groups and individuals who are committed to cleaning up Scotland, one litter item at a time, the problem could be far worse.
“Our call out is simple – to those who are proud of the country we live in and are frustrated – join us to help combat the problem. Join our clean-up efforts this May and June.”
You can read our latest report ‘Time for a new approach to tackling litter’ here.
Allison Ogden-Newton, CEO, Keep Britain Tidy said, “During 2019 and 2020, the RSPCA recorded over 8,000 incidents of animals injured by litter. Every piece of litter dropped, or left, on our beaches and in our parks is a direct threat to both wild animals and domestic pets. Please let’s not let them suffer at the hands of our post lockdown parties and instead show some love to the oases that have provided such needed recreation to us during this pandemic.”
You can read Keep Britain Tidy’s lockdown litter strategy here.
Lesley Jones, Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy said, “Every person has a part to play. It is not acceptable to expect somebody else to pick up the rubbish you create.
“When you’re out, make memories, not mess – if bins are full, take your rubbish home.”