MCS Beach Clean Results 2014
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has launched the results of its Great British Beach Clean, which took place from 19th – 22nd September 2014. A record number of more than 5,300 volunteers took part, across more than 300 events nationally. You can download the report from the MCS website here: www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch. If you would like a copy of the associated press release, please contact Laura Foster, Pollution Programme Manager, on email@example.com.
In 2013, recorded beach litter levels across the UK reached their highest point for 20 years. Sadly, this worrying trend has continued in 2014. Across the UK, more than 2,457 pieces of litter were recorded for every kilometre cleaned, representing an increase of 6% on 2013. Overall, despite existing measures aimed at reducing beach litter, the 2014 results represent an increase of 135% since MCS began conducting Beachwatch surveys in 1994.
MCS would like invite you to take part in this year’s beach clean and survey, taking place from 19th - 22nd September. Details of participating beaches are still being finalised, but MCS would be grateful if you would be good enough to make a note in your diary at this stage.
Government Litter Report
The Communities and Local Government select committee have now published their report following their national litter enquiry. LitterAction’s own Samantha Harding and George Monck gave evidence to the committee back in November, as did an array of interested parties.
You can read the report here :
There is also an interactive infographic here :
Please let us know what you think about the committee’s recommendations !
A Clean Sweep – Rethinking the Way We Tackle Litter
A new report from Bristol-based research company Eunomia has just been published. A Clean Sweep looks at creative ways to prevent littering in the first place and, as such, is a welcome and refreshing addition to the litter debate.
Please have a look at Eunomia’s report here http://www.eunomia.co.uk/reports-tools/a-clean-sweep/
Action against sky lanterns
Our friends at Zilch, the national network of individuals in the UK working to eliminate littering, have drawn our attention to the following :
NFU has rejuvenated its effort to get sky lanterns banned by encouraging those of us who care about the damage they do to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
As you'll know, this, together with the other form of aerial litter - the balloon release - are things we are passionate about seeing being consigned to history.
To make your voice heard go to their letter writing campaign page and send a message to as many of the relevant individuals and/or organisations as you can. Zilch also suggests using the WriteToThem website will make that easier.
You might also like to add your name as a signatory to Zilch’s forthcoming letter to George Eustice MP on Chinese Lanterns, a letter that points out the inadequate nature to the Trading Standard that was introduced and will be the spring-board for further actions and publicity.
Communities urged to roll up their sleeves and get behind a nationwide spring clean in order to spruce up our favourite public places.
Communities across the country were today (31 January 2015) urged to roll up their sleeves and get behind a nationwide spring clean in order to spruce up our favourite public places.
Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins has announced a ‘community clear up day’ which will take place on Saturday 21 March 2015 – the first day of spring. The minister is calling on people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and lend a hand to tidy up in time for summer. He is joined in this call to action by Environment Minister Dan Rogerson who has given his support to this event. Efforts will focus on city centres, high streets, villages and parks – anywhere that could turn from eyesore to asset.
They were both appearing at a Select Committee hearing this week where MPs have been given evidence of how people across the country are fed up with the way litter blights their communities.
The latest figures suggest councils in England spend more than £800 million every year on street cleansing. Ministers believe that communities want to take pride in their local area and public spaces. They are encouraging people to make this a fun activity bringing groups together with a common interest as well as freeing up millions of pounds that can be spent on other vital public services.
The Department for Communities and Local Government will provide a toolkit of posters and leaflets (http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/clearupday) that can be tailored for each community and in the coming weeks it will also bring together great examples of what has already been done to tackle litter louts in local areas.
Mr Hopkins said:
This is a call to arms for communities great and small to help us end this litter scourge by taking greater pride in our neighbourhoods. It is time to roll up our sleeves and bring the broom back out of the cupboard because by looking after our local areas we can help make them better places to work and live.
I also urge the manufacturers of items commonly associated with littering – such as soft drinks, chewing gum, crisps, confectionary and fast food – to join us in this day and contribute to the clear up of our streets and public places. A number of them have made supportive statements to the Committee inquiry so I trust many will get involved.
Environment Minister Dan Rogerson added:
Litter has a huge impact on the quality of our streets and public spaces and we all have a responsibility to keep our communities tidy. Government is introducing a charge on plastic bags and supporting initiatives such as the National Litter Prevention Commitment to encourage businesses to reduce litter through improved product design and labelling for consumers.
While we have made great progress in recent years, we still need to get to a place where everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and their own rubbish – initiatives such as this help us achieve that by bringing individuals and communities together to take pride in their areas.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said:
Litter blights communities up and down the country and the government’s lead with this clean-up initiative is very welcome. We all have a role to play in keep the places where we live, work and play clean and tidy and a national clean-up is a great way to encourage more people to take some responsibility and pride for their environment.
Kenny Logan, campaign chairman at The Clean Up Britain campaign, welcomed the announcement and said:
Although litter is a very big problem for the UK, there are also thousands of ‘clean up groups’ across the country who we are sure will actively embrace the day and get heavily involved on March 21. This will be a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages, everywhere, to clean up their communities, and show how much pride they have in where they live themselves and, more generally, in Britain’s beautiful landscape.
A Happy Christmas to all LitterAction Members !
We at LitterAction wish you a very happy Christmas and a clean 2015 ! Thank you all for the great work that you do and here's to more success next year in making our lovely country a good place to live
Vote for CLEAR
The Wombles are back !
LitterAction members – you may want to tie in one of your autumn litter picking events to coincide with the following Keep Britain Tidy event.
Keep Britain Tidy is 60 years old in 2014. And what better way to celebrate their Jubilee than to hold a Big Jubilee Tidy Up this October?
They have also invited some very special friends to help them… The Wombles! Emerging once more from their burrows on Wimbledon Common, Uncle Bulgaria, Orinoco, Wellington and co have reunited with Keep Britain Tidy to help make this the biggest tidy-up ever – and they need your help too! What’s more, the Wombles will be back on our screens in 2015, for their very own television series, spreading their message of collecting and recycling rubbish.
Also joining in the celebration and supporting Keep Britain Tidy will be Waitrose at some of their stores up and down the country. Their aim is to get thousands of people ‘wombling free’, cleaning up their communities and understanding that small actions can be the start of big changes.
Since 2008, The Big Tidy Up has helped to encourage more than half a million people in more than 25,000 groups to collect nearly 120,000 bags of rubbish. And this year, their burrowing buddies are encouraging us all to think like a Womble, and get involved with a Big Jubilee Tidy Up of your own.
Head over to the Big Tidy Up website, sign up and order your very own Big Tidy Up Kit download posters to advertise your event and get plenty advice on what you need to do. Join the thousands of people up and down the country in the biggest-ever litter pick!
If you are an existing Big Tidy Up user you may be asked to reset your password on registering to the new website.
The Communities and Local Government Committee is launching an inquiry into litter - http://www.parliament.uk/litter .
Litter remains an issue of local public concern, with levels of littering and fly-tipping failing to reduce substantially, despite campaigns and publicity aimed at changing public behaviour, and despite a suite of powers and responsibilities for local councils and other bodies enshrined in legislation. The costs of managing litter and fly-tipping are significant – Keep Britain Tidy puts a £1 billion plus annual price tag on managing litter and its knock-on impacts nationally.
Terms of Reference
The Committee invites submissions on how significant a problem littering and fly-tipping is, and whether current government policies are adequate and give local authorities enough autonomy to tackle the problem in local communities.
Written submissions are invited from interested parties on:
- What problems do litter and fly-tipping create for local communities-is the situation improving or deteriorating?
- How effective are the actions of those responsible for managing waste in the local environment? What more should local councils, the Environment Agency, and Government funded bodies such as WRAP do?
- Does the current statute, regulation and guidance set an effective framework to minimise litter and fly-tipping. What, if any, further changes are required?
- What roles do and should the private citizen and campaign and action groups have in tackling litter?
The Committee particularly welcomes any evidence from local authority scrutiny committees.
The Committee welcomes photographs illustrating problems with litter and fly-tipping and also before and after photographs where areas have been successfully cleaned up. Please tweet your photographs to @commonsclg, using the hashtag #litterpix
The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines below by 2.00pm on Thursday, 16 October 2014. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words.
Submissions should be uploaded onto the website in word format no later than the deadline.
Please follow this link to the Inquiry’s webpage : http://www.parliament.uk/litter
Event News: The Great British Beach Clean
This year, MCS is marking the 21st anniversary of the Beachwatch Big Weekend, and the launch of the Marine Litter Action Network, with a special event; the Great British Beach Clean.
Our goal is to get 10,000 people to clean and do a litter survey on at least 400 beaches between the 19th - 22nd September.
The Great British Beach Clean is not replacing the Beachwatch Big Weekend - we just want to make this year's event even bigger and better.
Our vision is to take Britain's beaches back in time. To clean up the coast for the weekend and show the world what the great British seaside used to be like, and could be again if we turned the tide on litter.
We believe it is particularly important this year to show the Government wide popular support for action to reduce the record amount of beach litter as it considers implementation measures for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
As usual, this year’s event will also be timed to coincide with the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC), allowing the data collected to be part of a worldwide snapshot of beach litter.
Last year MCS broke into the top 20 participating countries (by volunteers) in the ICC report. This year, we hope our goal of 10,000 volunteers will get us into the top 10, giving us added leverage to push for strong litter reduction measures in the MSFD.
Our fantastic new Great British Beach Clean landing page has details of all the events and how to register as a volunteer.
We’re also keen to welcome new organisers.
If you need any more information then please get in touch:
Organise an event: here
Download an event poster: here
Download a Facebook graphic: here
We also have promotional leaflets available and would be delighted for your support.
If you need any more information then please get in touch:
T: 01989 566017
Let’s get the seaside back to its litter-free glory days!
Let's Do it - September 13th
Contact Luke on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brilliant short film
We couldn’t resist telling you about what we think is one of the best short anti-littering films we have seen – “Don’t Drop Litter Or Else”. Thomas Black, a retired Yorkshire businessman, persuaded Leeds-based film-maker David Varley to shoot the film at Denton, near Ilkley. Do please have a look at it – it’s only a couple of minutes long : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EXZAb1kNcE
Railway Station Bins
Zilch is launching its online crowd-sourced survey of the cleanliness and provision of bins in railway stations across the UK this week.
The cleanliness of platforms and the adjacent tracks is a significant part of the railway travel experience. Many operators do a great job by providing bins and clearing any litter from the tracks but others are less conscientious.
Zilch’s survey will help identify who is which and where the places are that need additional attention.
The online survey is available here:
and can be completed as many times as necessary between now and the end of the year. There's also an option that allows you to be updated with progress should you wish to be so.
There's a printable version that you can keep in your bag or pocket for the next time you are traveling by train:
Please support this worthwhile initiative if you can – thank you !
Litter Bugs Me!
Big Clean Up Weekend 6TH – 8TH June 2014
Whilst some members of the public continue to thoughtlessly discard drink cans, cigarette butts, food wrappers and take-away containers on our streets and by-ways, the issue of litter never seems to go away.
Gosport Voluntary Action, Give, Gain & Grow, Loud & Proud and Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction are addressing this problem as the focus of Volunteers Week (1st - 8th June 2014); by organising a ‘Litter Bugs Me!’ campaign. This campaign will promote the merits of keeping our borough clean as well as raising awareness of the environmental impact of dropping litter.
A ‘Litter Bug’ art competition is being held involving local schools and community groups.
The campaign will culminate with a ‘Big Clean Up’ weekend with the public urged to litter-pick in their local area on Friday 6th June 2014 with organised clean-ups on Saturday 7th June 2014 on Lee-on-the-Solent seafront and Sunday 8th June 2014 in Gosport.
This Community led initiative is being promoted elsewhere across Hampshire and is gathering interest nationally.
Holly Ure, member of youth group Loud & Proud, said: ‘This is a great opportunity for schools and groups to have fun creating their own ‘Litter Bug’, whilst helping to raise public awareness of the need to bin rubbish rather than throw it in the streets’.
Beachwatch 2013 Report
In over two decades 3,080 km of coastline have been cleaned by thousands of dedicated volunteers who provide vital information on the state of litter found at our beaches across the UK. The results from this year follow the worrying trend of last year - the number of litter items per kilometre has again risen, with over 2,300 litter items/km of beach surveyed across the whole of the UK.
By the end of 2015, the UK government is required to deliver measures on reducing marine litter as part of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is taking a pro-active approach and has set up a Marine Litter Action Network, which will be launched in June 2014. It brings together key decision makers from across the sectors: plastics, waste, fisheries, retail and NGOs, to look at proactive and workable shared solutions.
MCS would like to invite you to take part in this year’s beach clean and survey, taking place over 19th-22nd September. It would be great if you could make a note in your diary to volunteer or you could run an event of your own. Please go here for more details www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch and for a report of the 2013 results.
National Recognition for Rural Litter Heroes
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is welcoming nominations from individuals, groups, organisations or companies that have taken action against litter in the countryside.
Nominations for the ‘CPRE Award for a Beautiful and Litter-free Countryside’ are now open and will close on 4th April 2014. The winner(s) will be invited to receive their award, along with a prize of £500, from CPRE President Sir Andrew Motion in June.
Samantha Harding, CPRE ‘Stop the Drop’ Campaign Manager, says:
‘We would be knee deep in litter if it wasn’t for the dedication of England’s rural heroes, who get outside come rain or shine to clear our hedgerows, roads, waterways and communities of litter. CPRE’s award will recognise this fantastic effort and remind these people that they are wonderful and appreciated.’
People can be nominated for their role in all kinds of activities. Examples could include working with a local school to educate students about litter; motivating a staff group to get out into their local area; or working with friends and neighbours in the community to keep their local area litter-free. Any activities that result in a reduction of countryside litter will be considered positively.
Nick Pickles, last year’s winner said:
‘I would really encourage anyone thinking about going into this competition to go ahead. The whole process was clear and straightforward. Litter can last many hundreds of years, and is proving ever more destructive to an increasing number of species. The award really belongs to all who care about the devastating impact of litter everywhere. It is so encouraging that the award recognises this work.’
The entries for this award will be shortlisted by Samantha Harding, manager of CPRE’s anti-litter campaign ‘Stop the Drop’, and George Monck, Chief Executive of CleanupUK. CPRE and CleanupUK jointly run the national anti-litter website LitterAction – www.litteraction.org.uk
Nominations should be made by completing the following online form:
New app for reporting fly-tipping and serious litter problems
When you are out and about litter-picking, you may come across fly-tipping or graffiti or even large amounts of litter that you feel is too much for you to handle and it would be easier to report it to your local council.
A new app called Council-Connect covers all UK local authorities and has an easy to use, quick interface that does not require any typing. You can report potholes, fly-tipping, dog-fouling, graffiti and of course, persistent litter problems.
Simplicity and ease of use make this a great tool to have in your pocket at all times!
"If you drop litter you're an idiot"
Click through to read this article by Alex Proud in the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10637042/If-you-drop-litter-youre-an-idiot-and-must-be-punished.html
Helping Hand Company's Folding Litter-Picker
Our friends at the Helping Hand Company have now developed a folding litter-picker that you can keep in your pocket or your rucsac and fold together only when you need to use it. Does that sound like something that you have been wishing you had? If so, please contact Helping Hand at email@example.com or go to www.litterpickersdirect.com.
New Helping Hand Equipment Discounts
CIWM Awards - apply now !
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is delighted to announce that entries are open to community groups for two of the most prestigious awards in the resource and environmental sector.
The CIWM Environmental Excellence Awards 2013 on the 7th November celebrates professional development, achievement and performance in the field of waste and resource management, and this year will be hosted by Wildlife Television Presenter, Michaela Strachan. As a key part of this prestigious event the Kier Community Champion Award recognises the contribution of people or groups in encouraging public participation in managing resources, reducing or recycling waste or improving local environmental quality. They could be neighbourhood recycling champions, composting gurus, inspirational teachers, energetic members of public bodies, community group members or an employee encouraging recycling within your organisation.
The prestigious CIWM Clean Britain Awards 2014 is now in its 25th year and recognises excellence and best practice in street cleansing and local environmental quality. These awards highlight the importance of a clean and well maintained environment in promoting better quality of life in local communities. The Clean Britain Community Award is designed for those groups and organisations that are not local authorities however still have a positive effect on local environmental quality such as community groups and resident clean ups.
Take advantage of the prestige and recognition that winning could bring to you and your colleagues. Enter Now by contacting our CIWM Events team on 01604 620426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries for both awards close on the 6th September and are free to enter for community groups.
April 2013: Big Beach Clean-up : 22nd-28th April
In April this year, you can join the fight against marine litter by taking part in the Marine Conservation Society/M&S Big Beach Clean-up. Over 110 beaches across the UK are going to see volunteers coming together to do a beach clean and litter survey which will highlight the issues of beach litter around our coastlines.
Hosted by your local M&S store team, the beach clean and survey will last a couple of hours, leaving the rest of the day free for you to enjoy the beach. If you’d like to take part, all you need to do is find your nearest beach on the map and register!
What to bring:
- Suitable clothing
- Seashore Safari Guide made especially for the event!
Last year over 6,000 people volunteered and collected 3,200 bin bags full of litter! The bags weighed in at over 11.5 tonnes. This included 12,800 wrappers and 2,850 tin cans.
February 2013: BBC 1 documentary: Litter Wars
Featuring groups registered on LitterAction this documentary looks at groups making a difference to where they live.
From ex-convict Owen who has cleaned up his act and makes a living recycling the rubbish he picks up at festivals, to flame-haired Manuela who’s dedicated herself to keeping Andover’s streets clear of cigarette butts, Litter Wars follows several colourful vigilantes who’ve waged war on waste.
Church Stretton in Shropshire is extremely green and pleasant, and ex soldier and teacher John is determined to keep it that way. Picking up litter unpaid, John isn’t afraid to approach those who are careless with their castaways – once even attempting a citizen’s arrest.
“It’s just such a beautiful vista we feel ownership somehow, stupidly I know. But I think that’s what drives me to look at our town as something very special,” he explains.
Down in Liskeard Cornwall, warehouse owner Rik is dogged by dog mess. Prowling the streets looking for fresh deposits, Rik is determined to make the council sit up and take notice. He regularly records dog walkers and has mounts early morning video stakeouts in an effort to deter would-be foulers.
“The council has said that if I get evidence of people fouling and present it to the council they will prosecute,” Rik says hopefully.
In the bracing Yorkshire Dales, there’s something unpleasant in the air for couple Jill and Matthew. Disgusted by the amount of dog mess in the aptly named Shutt Lane, Jill has launched a vigorous campaign – led by the Cross Hills and Glusburn Dog Fouling Action Group – to prick the conscience of those who let their pets poo near the local primary school.
And proving where there’s muck there’s brass is self-styled 'can man' Adrian who has waged his own personal war on discarded drinks cans. Recognised by Leicester’s mayor for his services to the environment, to date Adrian has collected 50,000 drinks cans – and earned himself £250 supermarket vouchers in the process.
December 2012: Resources available
Clean up posters and much more available from the equipment page. There you will also find Helping Hand discount vouchers exlusive to LitterAction.org.uk.