The Great British Spring Clean
5 minutes read
Did you know that more than two million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK daily? This means that, as we speak, 23 items of rubbish are being thrown every second. They include fast food-related packaging, plastic bottles, and cigarette butts – all contributing to the UK’s worsening litter crisis. It’s no wonder we need the Great British Spring Clean awareness day.
The UK taxpayers pay the price as over one billion pounds yearly is spent on street cleaning to keep the streets, parks, and beaches pristine and glistening. However, it doesn’t end there. If these increased rubbish levels are not managed, wildlife will continue to be harmed, and our overall quality of life will suffer. Imagine walking on filthy streets, rat infestations or passing by bins buzzing with flies.
This is why Keep Britain Tidy, a UK-based independent environmental charity, is urging every one of us to participate in the upcoming Great British Spring Clean, the nation’s biggest mass participation environmental campaign where we can collectively keep litter away from our beloved UK spots.
What is the Great British Spring Clean?
The Great British Spring Clean is the biggest annual national clean-up environmental event in the UK, spearheaded by Keep Britain Tidy. The campaign encourages everyone to help keep local communities clean, green, and litter-free by either hosting or participating in a litter pick.
In 2022, Keep Britain Tidy asked people to pledge to pick up one or more litter bags. At the end of the campaign, nearly half a million bags – 449,406, to be precise – have been pledged. The pledge is getting bigger and bigger year after year.
When is the Great British Spring Clean Day 2023?
Mark your calendars; the Great British Spring Clean Day will occur on March 20, 2023.
Is spring cleaning a thing in the UK?
Yes, every March, more than 93% of British households participate in spring cleaning activities and commit from a few hours to more than a week of purging, cleaning and organising. From decluttering wardrobes and cupboards to extending these efforts to doing clean-ups in UK parks and community streets.
What are the 10 types of litter found in the UK?
The Local Environmental Quality Survey of England and Keep Britain Tidy revealed the top 10 types of litter in UK streets.
- 79% Smoking-related litter
- 60% Confectionery packs
- 52% Non-alcoholic drinks related
- 33% Fast food related
- 25% Alcoholic drinks related
- 25% Packaging
- 20% Snack packs
- 14% Vehicle parts
- 12% Discarded food/drink
- 12% Clothing
Take home any rubbish that can’t be binned when out and about. This small action, if done consistently, will help solve the UK’s growing litter problem or, better yet, free up your schedule this March and find ways to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean.
How to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean
1. Pledge to pick
Decide whether you want to pick one or 50 bags of litter. Also, you can choose to litter pick as an individual or as part of a group, say with your family and friends.
2. Decide where you want to do your clean-up
Choose where you’d want to do your litter pick. It could be a place that holds a special place in your heart, like your nearest community park or favourite beach. You can make a massive difference by sparing just a few hours to pick up litter in your area.
3. Get your gear ready
Keep Tidy UK recommends using a litter picker, gloves and a bag to put your collected litter in to get you started with your spring cleaning exercise. You can browse some useful Great British Spring Clean equipment here. There are selections for adults and children to choose from making your spring cleaning swift and easy. Make sure to carry a hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly.
4. Wear appropriate clothes
To make your clean-up activity extra productive and comfortable, ensure you have weather-appropriate clothes and shoes and enough to drink to hydrate. Remember to apply your SPF regardless of if it’s cloudy or sunny.
Beauty Daily loves the UV PLUS [5P] Anti-Pollution Translucent, £34. This anti-pollution SPF protects your skin from the harsh sun and five pollutants, including pollen. If it is sunny, bring a large brim sun hat.
5. Dispose of your litter and recycle properly
Make sure to separate your litter into three bags so it can be recycled. In addition, have a dedicated bag for plastic bottles, aluminium cans, and general waste. If you plan to collect a large amount of litter, you should speak to your local authority beforehand to get advice about what to do with it.
Small amounts of litter can easily be disposed of in your household bins, or you can contact your local household waste recycling centre.
For more information about the Great British Spring Clean event, go here.
6. Join the ‘Buy Nothing New Month’ challenge
Keep Britain Tidy has also launched another initiative called Buy Nothing New Month, where it’s all about doing more and buying less. So this January, or any month of 2023, challenge yourself with no new purchases apart from essentials. This will help you reduce litter from unnecessary packaging.
Buying excessive amounts of stuff has a detrimental effect on our planet. From manufacturing and packaging to shipping and delivery, all of these contribute to heating the earth due to CO2 emissions. In addition, our throwaway culture ends up filling the landfills with items that are yet to outlive us all. Learn more here.
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