The first ever nationwide public consultation on tackling Britain’s growing litter problem has been launched by the Clean Up Britain (CLUB) campaign.
Called Litter Box, the aim is to ask local people around the country to submit their thoughts – by post or by email – on litter and to find effective ways to combat the problem.
Since the 1960s, the amount of litter in Britain has increased by 500 per cent and it now costs £1 billion a year to clean it up. As this country struggles in an age of recession, the economy just cannot afford to waste money on this scale.
Local councils are being forced to make millions of pounds in cuts when the money spent on clearing up litter could be better used in schools, care homes, repairing roads, libraries, sports facilities and many more things.
Statistics tell only one part of the story, however, and Clean Up Britain wants to hear from people who have to cope with the real problem of litter on a daily basis. The aim is to learn more about the state of Britain’s streets and parks, and work on ways to make this country a better, much less littered, place to live in.
Local people can support the campaign by signing the Clean Up Britain petition at www.cleanupbritain.org
Since the launch of CLUB only two months ago, wmore than 40 leading sports stars, television and showbiz celebrities have given their support to the campaign, including Kenny and Gabby Logan, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bianca Jagger, Andrew Flintoff, Steven Gerrard, Fabio Capello, Gary Lineker, Tony McCoy, Clare Balding, Miranda Raison, Jonny Wilkinson, Honeysuckle Weeks, Mo Farah, Goldie, Sir Michael Parkinson, Frankie Dettori and Andy Carroll, as well as highly respected organisations such as the RSPCA and Keep Scotland Beautiful.
National patrol Jeremy Paxman said: “The scale of the problem is immense. In a single August night, on one six-mile stretch of the M3 motorway which runs from Surrey to Southampton (between junctions one and two), workers from the Highways Agency picked up 189 bags of trash, weighing in total one ton.
“We are being swamped by rubbish. This is one of the very few social problems in this country in which the answer lies — literally — in our own hands.
“It’s not even as if we’re deciding to do something proactive. Just restraining ourselves a bit. Is it really so much of a big deal to decide to put our litter in the appropriate place?
“You might think this issue doesn’t matter that much. Then consider this. None of us knows what will happen after we die, but we can be certain of one thing: our children will still be living amid the trash we dropped.”
Clean Up Britain Founder John Read said “CLUB is a group of individuals passionate about confronting the serious issue of litter that Britain is faced with. But we cannot do this alone.
“By launching a nationwide consultation with the British people, we aim to hear what real people think about the problem, and how it can be fixed. We’ll value all ideas sent to us, and incorporate the best of them in our national campaign.
“Then CLUB can, working with others, begin to tackle the issue of litter head on.”