In support of the Great British September Clean (11 to 27 September) we’ve got some easy ways that you can do your bit for your local park, street or beach by litter picking.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British September Clean kicks off soon and is your chance to get involved in helping your local environment by tackling litter. Not only does litter spoil the natural beauty of our environment, it also poses a threat to wildlife.

People generally believe that clearing up litter is someone else’s job and many consider littering anti-social behaviour. Yet, almost 48% of people admit to dropping litter!

The good news is that small actions do make a big difference, so why not host a litter pick, join one, or pledge to do your own thing?

A young girl litter picking.

Our top tips for litter picking:

  • You don’t have to organise or join a litter pick if you don’t want to. We can all make a difference by litter picking a bit every day, such as on the school run or while out walking the dog.
  • Carry a pair of thick gloves (gardening gloves are ideal) and a bag in case there isn’t a bin nearby.
  • Did you know that people are more likely to litter if there is already litter there? Think about where you’ve seen lots of litter in the past and head that way to help break the cycle!
  • Don’t just bin it! If you collect a lot of litter and you have the time, you can go one step further by sorting out the material that could be recycled. Or you could carry two different bags with you, one for rubbish and one for recycling.
  • Don’t touch anything that could be dangerous or you’re not sure about. If you find anything like needles, nappies or something that contains chemicals or could be very sharp, please instead report it to your local district or borough council.
  • Always wash your hands after litter picking!
  • Contact your local district or borough council. They may be able to offer advice or even equipment and disposal of your collected litter.

Two plastic cups.

How else can you help?

  • Tell your friends not to be tossers. No, we’re not being rude! The Don’t be a Tosser campaign is aimed specifically at those who toss litter out of cars. The good news is that the registered keeper of a vehicle can now be fined if someone in their car throws rubbish out of it.
  • Help spread the word. Maybe you have friends and family who think that discarding fruit peel isn’t a problem? They may be interested to hear that this counts as littering too, and it can take up to two years for a banana skin to fully decompose!
  • If you see litter on the side of a main road or carriageway let your local district or borough council know. Please do not attempt to clear the litter yourself as this could be very dangerous.
  • If you see a large amount of rubbish dumped somewhere, such as several bags of rubbish or furniture, please also report this to your local district or borough council as this may be considered a fly-tipping offence. The local authority will then investigate and attempt to trace who the waste belongs to.