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12 March 2024

idverde and the Great British Spring Clean

Litter remains a big problem across the country; not only is it unsightly, but it devalues local areas, pollutes the environment, causes harm to residents and wildlife, and is expensive to remove, which ultimately costs council taxpayers money. Councils in England spend more than £700 million on street cleaning services every year, with Wiltshire Council spending £1.5 million. Therefore, it is important to dispose of litter responsibly by recycling, reusing, or simply putting it in the bin.

Back for its ninth year, the Great British Spring Clean is the nation’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign. idverde working in partnership with Wiltshire Council are supporting the Great British Spring Clean and Great Big School Clean 2024, which will run from 15 March – 31 March.

Wiltshire Council is one of the largest unitary authorities in England. The authority’s area covers approximately 3,255 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 460,000 people. A Wiltshire Council spokes person said; ‘We want to inspire the people of Wiltshire to eliminate litter and waste, for now and for future generations. But we know we can only do this by working with others – local authorities, communities, schools and businesses. Wiltshire Council cannot achieve its goal alone, and this is where our army of volunteers comes in, helping us care for the environment on their doorstep.’


Last year, Keep Britain Tidy’s army of amazing #LitterHeroes pledged to pick more than 400,000 bags of litter. idverde and Wiltshire Council supported the 2023 campaign with 420 volunteer hours during 42 collections, which resulted in 392 black bags of litter collected, weighing 2352kgidverde can assist volunteers with the loan of litter picking equipment including Hi-Viz jackets and disposal of the collected litter bags.

To date, this year in Wiltshire we have around 78 community litter picking events, 40 community groups and Parish Councils and around 41 schools, so we are on track to make even more of a difference in Wiltshire this year.

Litter refers to small pieces of rubbish that have been left lying on the ground in public places. It can include anything from a crisp packet, glass bottle or cigarette butt to a bag of rubbish. Many of Keep Britain Tidy’s volunteers regularly find ‘retro rubbish’ that was dropped many years ago but is still causing harm to our environment today, releasing greenhouse gases as it slowly breaks down in our soil and water, which contributes to the climate crisis.

The good news is that litter-picking is a simple action that anyone can do. It makes an immediate and visible difference to the environment where we live, work and play.  In fact, around 95% of people surveyed after 2023’s campaign agreed they felt they had made a difference to their local area, and 91% said they felt part of a national movement that is taking action to tackle litter.

Some shocking facts about litter:

  • Many animals can get sick because of the litter we drop. They can get tangled up in it or they can eat it which causes them to become very poorly and/ or die.
  • There could already be 150 million tonnes of plastic litter in the world’s oceans. That’s the same weight as 25 million large elephants.
  • If we don’t do something about reducing the amount of litter in our environment, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans!
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year.
  • Plastic injures over 600 species of animals that live in and by the sea.
  • It can take hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to start to break down and break into smaller parts. Small bits of plastic called microplastics, end up in the sea and are eaten by fish.

So, if you want to protect our wildlife and the places you love this spring where ever you are in the UK, join the Great British Spring Clean and pledge to pick up a bag – or more.

Pledge as an individual, group or school here: https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

idverde support volunteers in Wiltshire all year round by loaning equipment and arranging the collection of material collected. If you have an event planned, please contact wiltshirehelpdesk@idverde.co.uk