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Charing Cross commuters educated in the ‘birds and the bees’: litter style



What do a banana skin, coffee cup and cigarette butt have in common? They’re all an eyesore if littered. Even one piece of litter makes a street feel uncared for – and litter breeds litter – evidence shows that once there is any litter at all, some people take it as a licence to drop more, whether it is a newspaper, sweet wrapper, banana skin, receipt, bottle or lump of chewing gum.

INCPEN has produced a short film, as part of its ongoing work to help persuade people to stop dropping their rubbish. It’s a whole new slant on the tango. Levels of littering are at their worst for a decade, yet surveys show that the majority of people believe that dropping litter is antisocial and unacceptable.

UK councils spend around £1billion every year to clean our streets – money that could be better spent on any number of things that would benefit local communities. Governments need to make litter a priority, not just because we all want to live in a clean country but also because it leads to crime, reduced business investment and many other problems.

Avoiding litter is a simple matter of putting it in a bin or taking it home, instead of dropping it. INCPEN Director Jane Bickerstaffe says, “Bottles, cans and wrappers don’t litter themselves but it’s a bad advertisement for a brand to be seen littered on the ground. That’s why INCPEN has supported anti-litter campaigns, commissioned research and encouraged the use of anti-litter messages.”

“Let’s make our country a place that we’re all proud to live in.

“There are lots of excellent anti-litter initiatives but no coordinated long term programme and litter
is getting worse. Yesterday we joined 24 others calling on government to take a lead on litter and
ensure everyone works together (see media release). INCPEN members, like the rest of society,
want a clean, safe environment and will work with others to develop and promote a national plan”.

The signatories are: British Beer & Pub Association, British Soft Drinks Association, British Plastics Federation, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Clean Up Britain (CLUB), CleanupUK, Coca Cola Enterprises, Costa Coffee, Foodservice Packaging Association, Hubbub, INCPEN, (The Industry Council for research on Packaging & the Environment), Keep Britain Tidy

INCPEN litter campaign