Today marks the start of a nationwide anti-litter campaign launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy.
The campaign is backed by some of the biggest names in retail, travel and entertainment, and features poignant images of wildlife eating and getting tangled in litter, contrasted against typical excuses people give for dropping litter.
The emotive imagery demonstrates the impact littering can have on the environment, with the RSPCA responding to 1,500 calls about litter-related incidents affecting animals every year.
Today the campaign is on display in train stations nationwide, including commuter hubs such as London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, as well as across partners’ social media channels. After launch, the campaign will feature at till-points in Gregg’s stores and at Cineworld cinemas through the partnership with PepsiCo.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
The ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign is a bold statement of our intent to tackle the scourge of littering. Littering is antisocial and unacceptable. It plagues our environment and poisons our wildlife.
We know we won’t achieve this ambition by working alone. That’s why I’m thrilled to see some of our biggest companies including Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Greggs, and McDonalds and the tireless campaigners at Keep Britain Tidy, joining forces with us to help improve our precious environment.
Allison Ogden-Newton, CEO of Keep Britain Tidy, said:
We are delighted to be partnering with Defra to deliver the first government backed national anti-litter campaign in a generation. As the largest consumers of food and drink on the go in Europe the need for this campaign has never been greater. We are urgently asking everyone to eliminate litter by keeping their packaging with them when there isn’t a bin and bin it when there is one.
We know the impact that litter has on our environment, on wildlife and, ultimately, our oceans where 80% of the plastics found there come directly from the land.
This campaign will raise awareness with those people who still think it is acceptable to leave their rubbish anywhere other than in a bin.
The message is simple – Keep it. Bin it.
The new campaign is urging people to put their litter in a bin, or keep hold of it and put it in a bin when they see one. Empty packets and other litter should always be recycled wherever possible.
The focus of the campaign will be on the 16-24 age group as evidence shows littering is the highest amongst this demographic, and will aim to make littering culturally unacceptable within a generation.
This is one of the first times that government is running a campaign that is almost fully funded by commercial partners.
The campaign follows the first ever Litter Strategy for England, published last year, which sets out how government will work to clean up the country, change attitudes towards littering, and strengthen enforcement powers. Earlier this year we doubled the maximum on-the-spot penalty for littering , gave councils new powers to tackle littering from vehicles, and have made £450,000 funding available through the Litter Innovation Fund to pilot new ways to tackle littering.
We are keen to hear from commercial and charitable organisations that are interested in joining our campaign. Simply email our partnerships team at Litter@defra.gov.uk to express an interest.