Wrigley and Keep Britain Tidy slash litter rates by 30% with charity bin trials

Five successful waste reduction trials across the UK has seen litter in the selected areas reduced by 30%, leading to charity Keep Britain Tidy and The Wrigley Company to extend the project to four extra regions.

Pilots of the ‘Bin it for Good’ project, which encourages people to place rubbish in bins to generate money for local charities, saw street litter fall by 30% on average in Birmingham city centre, Margate, Grahame Park Estate in Barnet and Wirral’s Central Park, while Prudhoe town centre in Northumberland managed to reduce litter by 52%.

Due to the success of the trials, Keep Britain Tidy has now announced that Nottingham, Haringey, Sutton and Kettering will be given the “charity bin facelift”, with local charities able to receive up to £500 a month, for three months, depending on how much litter the street bins collect.

Wrigley’s general manager Mark Andrews said: “After more than a decade of experience in supporting programmes to tackle litter it is clear to us that the challenge will only be solved through behaviour change, education and encouraging responsible disposal.

“Bin it for Good shows the huge potential in harnessing people’s support for local charities to change behaviour on litter and it is exciting to work with Keep Britain Tidy to refine the scheme so it can be used more widely. This is one of a series of new and deepened programmes that we are undertaking this autumn to help make a substantial difference on this issue.”

As well as reducing the amount of litter, the programme acts as a behaviour change catalyst. A survey carried out as part of the pilots revealed that 71% of people were encouraged to bin litter due to the initiative, while 50% felt there was less litter because of the charity bins.

The charities benefitting from the next batch of trials include Cransley Hospice in Kettering Bulwell Forest Garden in Nottingham and Don’t Forget The Kids in Haringey.

Mastication fascination

Wrigley has previously teamed up with Keep Britain Tidy as part of a business-led movement urging the Government to tackle Britain’s £1bn litter problem. The Litter Manifesto was signed by the likes of Wrigley and McDonalds and called on the Government to “lead the way by creating a national strategy that has teeth, and providing or stimulating funding”.

The launch of the new pilots, which kickstarts Keep Britain Tidy’s Waste less, Live more Week, follows on from the charity’s recent work with the Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG).

Earlier this month, a corner of Hackney was transformed into the UK’s first “Litter Lounge”, as part of a new behavioural change concept that calls on passing consumers to drop chewing gum into a pop-up living room.

Both Keep Britain Tiday and CGAG also ensured that every single piece of discarded chewing gum along Oxford Street was lit up with water-soluble fluorescent chalk, as part of a social demonstration to highlight chewing gum litter.

Keep Britain Tidy will also work with German discount supermarket chain Lidl this week, to challenge more than 30,000 UK residents to commit to as many as 101 ways to “waste less and live more”.

With households generating around 27 million tonnes of waste every year, the charity and Lidl have been gathering signatories to pledge to reduce household waste. Lidl also has previous ties to Keep Britain Tidy, having pledged to donate a minimum of £1m raised from its 5p plastic bag charge to the charity and cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.

Matt Mace

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