Defra campaign calls for an end to rubbish excuses
SHOCKING images of animals harmed by plastic rubbish will help to drive home the message in a new campaign to crack down on littering.
Adverts will feature images of wildlife eating and getting tangled in litter, with typical excuses people give for dropping their rubbish.
The campaign, using the slogan “No more rubbish excuses”, was launched yesterday by Environment Secretary Michael Gove in partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
In a first for Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the campaign is supported by companies whose names are all too often seen on the packaging that litters our streets, including Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Greggs and McDonald’s.
The emotive imagery shows the harm that littering can do.
The RSPCA responds to 1,500 calls a year about litter-related incidents affecting animals.
Littering also brings a huge financial burden – keeping the country’s streets clean cost local government in England almost £700 million last year. Millions of pieces of litter are dropped every day in England.
The new campaign is urging people to put their litter in a bin, or keep hold of it and put it in a bin when they see one. Empty packets and other litter should always be recycled, wherever possible.
The bold approach has already earned the backing of some of the biggest businesses, with Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Greggs, McDonald’s, PepsiCo UK and Network Rail confirmed as the first tranche of campaign partners.
Yesterday the campaign went on display in railway stations nationwide, including commuter hubs such as London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, as well as across partners’ social media channels and on Clear Channel’s Socialite screens.
After launch, the campaign will feature at till points in Gregg’s stores and at Cineworld cinemas in a partnership with PepsiCo UK.
Mr Gove said: The ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign is a bold statement of our intent to tackle the scourge of littering.
“Littering is antisocial and unacceptable. It plagues our environment and poisons our wildlife.
“We know we won’t achieve this ambition by working alone.
“That’s why I’m thrilled to see some of our biggest companies and the tireless campaigners at Keep Britain Tidy joining forces with us to help improve our precious environment.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “As the largest consumers of food and drink on the go in Europe, the need for this campaign has never been greater.
“We are urgently asking everyone to eliminate litter by keeping their packaging with them when there isn’t a bin and bin it when there is one.
“We know the impact that litter has on our environment, on wildlife and, ultimately, our oceans, where 80 per cent of the plastics found there come directly from the land.”
This campaign will raise awareness with those people who still think it is acceptable to leave their rubbish anywhere other than in a bin.
Ana Baptista, corporate affairs director at Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK, said: “We feel strongly that industry has a critical role to play in delivering longterm behaviour change by encouraging people to bin litter responsibly.”
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