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Keep Britain Tidy welcomes country’s first-ever Litter Strategy

10 April 2017

Today, Keep Britain Tidy, the country’s anti-litter charity, has welcomed the launch of the Government’s Litter Strategy for England.

Keep Britain Tidy runs awards programmes, including the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards for beaches, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Keep Britain Tidy Award for public spaces. The Government identifies these as being central to achieving high standards of local environmental quality in the Strategy and says it will encourage land managers to apply for these awards to ensure their efforts are recognised.

The Strategy also identifies Keep Britain Tidy’s Eco-Schools, the world’s biggest environmental education programme, as a key mechanism to educate children and young people about the impact of litter. Eco-Schools has already received support from the Prime Minister who has visited two in her constituency since September last year.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Educating the next generation is vital if we are to win the war on litter. Our children and young people are the key to making littering a thing of the past.

“Learning about litter and its impacts, as part of their wider environmental education, must be a central pillar of the concerted effort needed to tackle the problem once and for all.

Last month more than 300,000 people, including thousands of school children, took part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, clearing more than half a million bags of rubbish from our streets, parks, beaches and countryside.

The Government has recognised the value of this initiative in the Strategy, not simply to remove litter from the environment but also to raise awareness that a growing number of people want to see an end to littering and are prepared to take action.

Allison said: “We are delighted that the Government has pledged its continued support and endorsement of the Great British Spring Clean and to use its influence to encourage participation and support from people and businesses.

The Government’s decision to set up a working group to look at how economic measures could help reduce littering is also a positive step, given the success of the 5p charge on single-use carrier bags.

The charity also welcomes the Government’s pledge to introduce regulations that will allow local authorities to issue penalty charge notices to the registered keeper of a vehicle if litter is thrown from it, which will make it easier for local authorities to tackle the problem of roadside litter, which is difficult and costly to clear.

Keep Britain Tidy has been at the forefront of developing and testing innovations to tackle littering, some of which are identified in the Strategy, and we are delighted that the Government has pledged to set up a Litter Innovation Fund to support the development of affordable and scalable solutions that are proven to make a difference.

Allison added: “There is much to commend in this Strategy and we look forward to seeing some ambitious targets from the Government and effective monitoring to ensure that the Strategy makes the measurable difference we all want to see.