While it is encouraging to see so many areas of the UK slowly re-opening after lockdown, many of us will share a sense of disappointment and anger at scenes of litter being left on Britain’s beaches and in areas of natural beauty.
In a pattern repeated across many parts of the country, officials in Bournemouth reported that around 50 tonnes of litter was left on the town’s beach during the last weekend in June, compared with five tonnes on an average June day.
As lockdown eases further across the country and the summer holiday season approaches, many tourist hotspots are concerned about safely managing the influx of visitors – and the litter they may leave behind.
There’s no obvious single reason for the rise in littering that we have witnessed. It’s more likely to be a combination of factors.
Organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy can help support councils and businesses with litter problems through a range of paid for services such as surveys and data collection. They also produce free resources such as a series of materials to help local authorities spread the message about litter. The campaign includes resources to deter fly tipping and to encourage the disposal of PPE as well as materials that urge people to take their litter home with them when out and about.
The rescheduled Great British Spring Clean is also due to go ahead between 111h and 27th September. Activities suggested include organising a private clean-up with up to six family and friends or pledging to carry out an individual clean-up. The campaign is important in raising awareness of the problems caused by littering as well as helping to actively clean up parts of the UK.
While local authorities certainly have a lot on their plates during Covid-19, with the change in public habits and the way that public spaces are laid out and used, it makes sense to review how litter bins and recycling facilities are being used as well as looking at the location and number of bins available. It may be that these need to change while restrictions around Covid remain in place.
Local authorities have worked hard throughout the crisis to maintain litter collection across households. Although the collection of on-the-go litter proved harder to maintain with higher rates of staff absence and the demands of social distancing, most services are now running at full or almost full capacity. It is also to be hoped that people will be so shocked by the images of litter strewn beauty spots that they will adopt a more responsible attitude to litter disposal going forward.
Got a litter problem? Call Amberol on 01773 830 930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.