Help to bin the lockdown litter: Carpets of face masks and a winter of rubbish. But, from today, we can all make Britain beautiful again – and here’s how
- The Great British Spring Clean runs until Sunday June 13, offering us all a change to fight back against the mess that is engulfing the country
- By pledging as little as 20 minutes of your time each day, you can show some love for the special places that helped us through lockdown
- Keep Britain Tidy estimates that 2million pieces of litter are dropped every day
Today, the Daily Mail is proud to announce the launch of this year’s Great British Spring Clean.
Britain’s biggest litter-picking campaign runs until Sunday June 13 – offering us all a chance to fight back against the mess that is engulfing the country.
In the words of the First World War recruiting poster: Your country needs you!
Following the misery of the pandemic, it’s vital that as many of us as possible do our bit to help the country recover by making it clean and fresh again. By pledging as little as 20 minutes of your time each day, you can show some love for the special places that helped us through lockdown.
Today, the Daily Mail is proud to announce the launch of this year’s Great British Spring Clean. Britain’s biggest litter-picking campaign runs until Sunday June 13 – offering us all a chance to fight back against the mess that is engulfing the country
Make no mistake – cleaning this country won’t be easy. Keep Britain Tidy estimates that some 2million pieces of litter are dropped every day. Sadly, these include some of the very items we needed to protect us – such as masks and rubber gloves. Once vital tools in the fight against Covid, some of these items are now harming the environment after being discarded.
Nevertheless, the enormity of this challenge shouldn’t put us off. For the tougher the task, the greater the victory.
We realise we have asked a lot of you in the past 12 months. Thanks to your generosity, the Mail’s campaigns raised money and goods – both computers and PPE – worth more than £25million. That’s the biggest amount any newspaper has ever raised.
But we know that when it comes to litter, our readers have not shirked from the task in the past – and will not do so today.
In 2019, the Great British Spring Clean, organised by Keep Britain Tidy, made a tremendous difference to the cleanliness of the country. In all, 563,163 volunteers cleared the land of 4,308 tonnes of litter, the equivalent of the contents of 239,344 wheelie bins.
This year and last have presented special difficulties for the campaign, given Covid restrictions. But we know the present situation will not stop our magnificent army of readers from rising to the occasion.
Amazingly, we are already within touching distance of picking litter across a million miles of the UK after more than 100,000 volunteers pledged to take part.
Make no mistake – cleaning this country won’t be easy. Keep Britain Tidy estimates that some 2million pieces of litter are dropped every day. Pictured: Rubbish is strewn across the street in Cardiff, Wales on April 2, 2021
Footballing brothers show litter the red card
Danny, 10, (left) and Jojjo Eisawy, 8, (right) have pledged to spend as much time litter picking as playing football each week
Football fanatics Danny and Jojo Eisawy are determined to tackle their local litter problem.
The brothers are encouraging their neighbours to get involved too as the Great British Spring Clean kicks off.
Danny, 12, and Jojo, ten, have already been out collecting litter every day during Ramadan as part of their mission to ‘clean up the world, one plastic bottle at a time’.
Jojo said of their efforts to clean up their hometown of Tonbridge in Kent: ‘We really enjoy it. It’s really fun and we get stuck into it when we find a really bad patch.’
Danny added: ‘Lots of people assume litter-picking is too much effort, or say that ‘it’s only a small patch so how will that make a change?’ But one small change makes a big difference.’
The brothers began cleaning their local area two years ago, when Jojo was given a litter picker for his eighth birthday.
News of the brothers’ exploits soon spread around Tonbridge, prompting hundreds of residents to follow the so-called Litter Kickers on Twitter.
The boys use social media to encourage others to join the war against rubbish. After organising a ‘Litter Wave’ last year, they hope neighbours will sign up for a new ‘Litter Ripple’ to pick up at least three pieces of rubbish each.
Their mother Charlotte Raveney, said: Danny thought this year might need to be more low key thanks to Covid, hence the ‘ripple’ rather than the ‘wave’… but as he says, ripples are very powerful too!’
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘This year, we set ourselves a very ambitious mission… a mission for a million miles of cleaner streets, parks and beaches. Today, the first day of the Great British Spring Clean, we are incredibly close to reaching that goal with 927,878 miles pledged – and we have 16 days to go.
‘I think this commitment is a testament to the unbreakable spirit – and the pride of – the British public. If you care about our natural environment, please join us and pledge to support the Great British Spring Clean.’
Rebecca Pow, litter minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said she would be going on her local litter pick in her constituency of Taunton. ‘Many of us have seen our favourite walks, beauty spots and green spaces suffer from plastic bottles or food wrappers,’ she said.
‘That is why the Spring Clean is so important to get our environment back on track. I will be joining my local litter pick and I want to thank the hundreds of thousands that will be doing just the same.’
Another backer, broadcaster Kirstie Allsopp, said: ‘Sadly, not a day goes by when I don’t pick up someone else’s litter – or worse, see a dog poo bag dropped by a tree. It’s a national disgrace.
‘We all have a responsibility to keep the rubbish off our streets and out of our rivers and oceans. By joining this year’s Spring Clean you can all make a difference by getting out there and doing your bit to tidy up your community.
‘I’m a passionate litter picker, as are my kids. We’ve got a family lunch this Bank Holiday Monday and it wouldn’t be complete without a litter pick – youngest to oldest, everyone gets involved.’
The Great British Spring Clean, in partnership with the Daily Mail, is made possible thanks to headline sponsors Mars Wrigley and Nestle, and is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. The campaign is also supported by Clear Channel, Red Bull, KFC, McDonald’s, Pepsi MAX and Walkers, as well as the Garfield Weston Foundation.
For more info, please visit: www.gbspringclean.org
Michaela: Plastic drives me wild
Michaela Stracham joins in with Great British Spring Clean at North Beach, Heacham, Norfolk
Michaela Strachan backed the Great British Spring Clean yesterday – and the TV presenter has already done her bit to clear a blighted beach.
After picking up litter from the coast of Heacham in Norfolk, the Springwatch host described plastic water bottles as her biggest bugbear and called on Britons to consign them to the dustbin of history.
The country’s ten biggest supermarkets sold 2.5billion plastic water bottles in 2019 – almost 40 for every person in the UK. Greenpeace has warned that the bottles (and their lids) are the most common type of litter on our coastline. Miss Strachan, 55, said: ‘It really grates whenever I see plastic water bottles. Nobody in this country needs to buy water bottles when you can drink water out of the tap. If you are going out, plan ahead and take a reusable bottle.’
Of our nation’s litter problem, the former Really Wild Show host said: ‘It has definitely got worse. When I was a kid we were brought up to understand that rubbish went in the bin, not just on the floor.
‘I have supported the Spring Clean for a few years now. I don’t know if there are more people who don’t care these days or whether it is just that there is so much more disposable stuff.’
How you can join the Great British Spring Clean
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Anyone can join the campaign, although children should be joined by a responsible adult.
Estimate how much time you plan to give over the 17 days of the campaign. You don’t have to join an organised group if you don’t want to – you can fit in litter picking as you go for a walk each day.
Simply visit the website www.gbspringclean.org and click ‘Pledge to Pick’. Register your details – that’s just your name, postcode, and an email address – and indicate how many minutes or hours of litter-picking you will pledge. You can get involved as an individual or as a ‘group’ (meaning you’ll join forces with either one other person, a family or bubble, or a school group).
HOW DO WE CALCULATE HOW MANY MILES WILL BE TIDIED?
Using an average walking pace of 3mph, we estimate that you can cover a mile for every 20 minutes you pledge to volunteer for.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
It’s recommended that you use a litter-picker and some gloves as a minimum, and carry hand sanitiser. You should also wash your hands regularly. Of course, you will also need a bag to put the litter in. You should continue to follow all other Covid-related hygiene and social-distancing measures. Current government guidelines dictate that groups should be no bigger than 30 people in England and Wales.
HOW WILL I HEAR OF ANY UPDATES?
YOU can follow Keep Britain Tidy on Facebook and Twitter – and you’ll also be able to stay abreast of all the latest developments by reading the Daily Mail.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
Count and photograph the bags you collect, and share your pictures online using the hashtag #LitterHeroes.
You can place the litter straight into your own outdoor bins at home – if it fits. If you plan to collect a larger amount of litter, ask your local authority for advice.
For recycling, if possible sort the litter into three bags: plastic bottles, aluminium cans and general waste.
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