More than 2 million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every year. Whether you walk your dog down by the canal or go for a jog around the local park, litter is never a welcome site and is detrimental to the environment. Some of the most common forms of littering include cigarette butts, non-alcoholic drinks and take-away packaging.
Since lock-down restrictions began to ease, local councils have reported an increased spend towards cleaning up litter and emptying bins in local parks alone. Even up in the Lake District, campaigners have began to call for volunteers to help pick up litter left around the likes of Ullswater after an increase in illegal campers leaving rubbish at their campsites. It's time for us as residents to be more pro-active in our approach to litter by doing whatever we can to keep our local environments tidy and encourage nature and wildlife to flourish.
Have a read of our visual guide to the current impact of litter on our environment to gain more insight
How You Can Help
There are plenty of small things you can do as you go about your daily life to reduce the amount of litter in your area as well as reduce the amount of waste you produce each day, this includes:
Litter Picking As You Walk
If you're heading out on a walk whether you're alone or with your dog, bringing along a bin bag to store any litter you encounter along the way can have a significant effect. You may even find that your bag will fill up rather quickly, but every little helps, even if it's one bag a day. Litter picking is unhygienic by its very nature, so be sure to bring along a glove.
Bring A Packed Lunch
By reducing the amount of sandwich packaging and other single-use plastics, bringing a packed lunch to work, school or on a picnic is much more sustainable than grabbing a supermarket meal deal. Instead of plastic water bottles, consider using a re-usable flask - they'll keep your drink cooler for longer and are nowhere near as detrimental to the environment.
Bags For Life
Whilst efforts towards reducing the amount of plastic bags used in supermarkets have increased over the past few years, such as the UK government implementing the 5p bag charge (which dropped plastic bag usage by 85% in it's first year of implementation), bags for life are still one of the go-to options to reduce plastic. Another supermarket tip is to buy loose veg rather than plastic-wrapped veg or nylon string bags.
Give away your old stuff
Rather than doing a run to the local tip, you can offer out some of your old or unwanted belongings on websites like Freecycle or local Facebook groups. It's likely that people will come and pick them up, which saves you the drive.
If you're happy to volunteer your time litter-picking in some problem areas, here are some of the organisations across the UK that you can get involved in:
- Keep Britain Tidy
- Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
- Keep Wales Tidy
- Friends Of The Lake District
- Canal River Trust
The Great British September Clean began on the 11th September and ends on the 27th, so now is a better time than ever to get back outdoors and get involved in a good cause.
As a business, we're incredibly conscious about the impact our operations have on the environment along with the waste produced along the way. The recycling initiatives implemented in our own head office and warehouse recorded a 0% office waste in landfill from June 2016 onward, as well as a colossal 483 tonnes of paper and further 5 tonnes of plastic recycling in 2015 alone. We're always on the look out for new ways to reduce our waste and recycle whatever we can, from things such as paper and cardboard all the way down to printer cartridges. You can read more about our sustainability and environmental efforts over on our Honesty Project page.