Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Litter from A to Z: S if for Spaces
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Litter from A to Z
S if for spaces
Hands up who has made a bee-line for a local park or beach now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased? While getting out in the fresh air and sunshine is great for your mental and physical health, the rubbish that some people will leave behind is not so great for the public spaces that we all want to enjoy.
Keep Britain Tidy has voiced concerns that some of our public spaces will become ‘rubbish dumps’ as more people visit and council cleansing and litter services are currently limited in many areas. The charity has urged people to take litter home with them, as public litter bins aren’t currently being emptied as often and litter picking services are limited as councils focus on waste and recycling collections.
Do your bit
So how can you keep precious public spaces clean, safe, and litter-free for everyone?
Don’t discard cigarettes
Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly littered items. Research carried out by Keep Britain Tidy found that 11% of smokers do not even consider cigarette butts to be litter. It also found that only 38% of smokers knew that cigarettes contain plastic, and that over half of smokers thought that putting a cigarette down a drain was okay. This is bad news, because the chemicals in cigarettes are very toxic to fish and other marine life.
Be a responsible dog owner
Most dog owners do clean up after their dog, but there are a minority that don’t. Don’t allow your dog to foul in a public place and just leave it there; it looks unsightly and it’s a risk to human health.
Set a good example for kids
If you and the kids are eating snacks when you’re out and about, make sure you teach them about how to dispose of their rubbish sensibly and be a good role model yourself. Take a carrier bag with you to collect rubbish so you can dispose of it in your recycling bin (if it’s recyclable packaging) when you get home. Teaching them good habits now will last a lifetime.
How to enjoy public spaces safely
Keep Britain Tidy has issued some advice for people who want to enjoy public spaces a bit more now that the lockdown has eased a little. Some people are understandably wary of spending more time outdoors in the vicinity of other people, so as well as making sure you take your litter home with you, follow these tips to stay safe and help others stay safe when you venture out.
- If you intend to drive to where you want to go, check that car parks are open, and take care at entrances or other areas where there are likely to be more people.
- Make sure you only go with people from your own household or meet one person from another household (though you must pay attention to social distancing at all times in this case.) Make sure you stay at least two metres apart from anyone else.
- Playgrounds and outdoor gyms are still closed as the surfaces pose a risk for virus transmission. Don’t break the rules and try to access them, the rules are there for a good reason!
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home and practice good hygiene at all times.
Let’s all do our bit and keep our public spaces safe, clean, and tidy because we all rely on them right now to help us feel like things are just a little bit normal.