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Community Litter Warden Scheme launched

14th August 2016

The new Community Litter Wardens and their volunteer litter picking teams were invited to Bristol Zoo on the 17th August 2016 to celebrate their work and hand out multiple litter picking kits. Each Community Litter Warden also received an honorarium of £100 Bristol pounds.

Community Litter Wardens are individuals who work in their chosen area to reduce litter. Some are part of or nominated by a local community group or neighbourhood partnership, others are committed individuals who prefer to litter pick alone on a regular basis. Litter picks in Bristol will range from weekly individual picks, to monthly community picks of ten or so people. Community Litter Wardens receive up to 10 Litter Picking Kits, plus a £100 Bristol Pound honorarium.

This scheme was made possible by Bristol 2015 Small Grants Fund and the Quartet Community Foundation, awarded as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. The grants were for voluntary and community organisations whose projects would help Bristol’s residents to live more sustainably and will benefit the city as a whole. We are very grateful to Bristol City Council for their support in publicising this opportunity, and to Bristol Zoo for their support.

Sophie Spencer, Community Litter Warden Scheme Co-ordinator said:
“For many people, litter is the most important issue on the local environmental agenda, and rightly so. Figures show that this is a widespread problem. Litter has a destructive impact on the beauty and quality of our countryside and urban areas. Litter spoils the view, pollutes and land and endangers wildlife.”

CPRE have been campaigning against litter since the 1920s, including creating the Keep Britain Tidy group in 1955, working with CleanupUK to develop the LitterAction website, our Stop the Drop campaign, supported by Bill Bryson, from 2008 to 2015, and our current National Litter Programme. We were a founding member of Break the Bag Habit, a campaign that successfully called for a charging scheme for carrier bags in England, which has reduced plastic bag use by around 85%.

There is still a lot more to do. We are currently paying more than £1bilion every year in England to clean up litter. Yet, litter is often made from valuable items that could be recycled, such as glass, aluminium and plastic. This is unacceptable and we need to find ways to reduce this. We want to see:

  • A stronger legal framework that means littering is a crime that carries real consequences.
  • More solutions that change people’s behaviour, such as returnable deposits on containers.
  • Better design of products and packaging, such as disposal papers with chewing gum and attaching lids to bottles, to reduce littering.

What you can do to tackle the litter problem:

If you want to take action against litter, then one of the best ways is to join a litter picking group. Some of our voluntary Community Litter Wardens organise a group litter picks and we encourage everyone to register their group on the website, so this is your first port of call. The website supports the growing number of individuals and community groups tackling litter problems across the UK. LitterAction demonstrates the brilliant contribution volunteers are making all over the country to reduce littering.

Find your nearest litter action group: