Litter cleanups can be a great way of meeting new people or spending more time with friends and family outdoors. The sense of satisfaction that comes with it will guarantee a good day regardless of the weather.
Remember if organised group events aren't for you then it's still a great practice to take a bag with you when you go for a walk and pick up bits of litter you come across.
The following websites are great starting points if you're wanting to join in an organised event:
Keep Britain Tidy is a brilliant website to find organised cleanups around the UK.
Marine Conservation Society have a great events page for organised cleanups in the UK. If you're a seafood eater they also have a brilliant page on their website for more sustainable seafood, The Good Fish Guide.
Greenpeace UK often organise cleanup events. Find your local group for more details. They also organise lots of other great events for creating a greener world.
Friends of the Earth UK sometimes organise cleanups as well as other activities to help make the planet more eco-friendly. Have a look to see if you have a local group.
Aside from these groups above, Facebook is also a good way to find local cleanups. Most areas have a local Facebook page you can follow and leave a message to see if anybody is organising a local cleanup.
ORGANISE YOUR OWN
If you’re struggling to find a cleanup why not organise your own? Below we've given some tips to make it easier to do so.
You may want to organise your own event with friends and family or this may be something you want to do to meet new people and connect with your local community. If that's the case then the above platforms are great ways to get new people involved.
Once you've decided on a date and place contact your local council before getting equipment, they should be able to provide rubbish bags and gloves as well as loan out litter grabbers, bag hoops and high vis vests.
TOP TIP: If you're able to loan bag hoops from the council they will make your life much easier, especially if it's windy!
If you're collecting a large amount of litter then you don't want it going in with your household waste! Let the council know about your cleanup event and agree on a location where they can collect the rubbish bags from when you're finished.
Whilst it's great to clear the waste it's even better if what is collected can be recycled if possible. Discuss with the council whether they'll sort the waste for you afterwards. If they can't it's great to consider having a system where some bags are for non-recyclable waste and others for recyclable.
It's important to make sure you do things safely so here are some safety tips:
Avoid working near busy, high-speed roads and wear high vis jackets if you're going near any roads.
It's best to avoid sharp objects like needles. If there is a bin nearby you could safely put them in there instead of your bin bag but it's best to let the council know if there is something you can't safely collect.
Make sure to use litter grabbers, gloves or hand sanitiser to avoid the risk of bacteria.
TOP TIP: It's great to share awareness. People may come and ask you what you're doing, if so it's great to explain to them the problem as there are still many people oblivious to the issues surrounding litter.
Taking pictures and sharing on social media afterwards is also a great way to spread awareness and inspire more people to get involved.
Happy litter picking!