Keep Britain Tidy calls on people to make a Platinum Pledge for this year’s Great British Spring Clean

To help mark its ‘big birthday’, Keep Britain Tidy is hoping that more people than ever will support this year’s Great British Spring Clean.

In 2023, around 350,000 volunteers in every corner of the country collected more than 400,000 bags of litter from our streets, parks and beaches.

Some of that rubbish will have been polluting our environment for much of the seven decades that Keep Britain Tidy has been in existence.

One volunteer, during a beach clean in 2021 on Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk, found a plastic bottle that was produced in 1954 – the same year Keep Britain Tidy was founded by the Women’s Institute – and was still recognisable a full 70 years later.

This year the charity, on its 70th birthday,  is asking people to make a #PlatinumPledge to pick up as much litter as they can, removing tonnes of plastic from our environment.

The campaign runs from March 15 – 31 and pledges can be made via the charity’s website – www.keepbritaintidy.org

At the same time, thousands of schools will be taking part in the Great Big School Clean, learning about the impact litter has on our wildlife and seeing for themselves the difference that small actions, when taken together, can make a big difference.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Every year, we are blown away by the incredible work done by communities, schools, voluntary organisations, businesses and local authorities to support the Great British Spring Clean.

“Our collective efforts remove thousands of tonnes of litter from our environment and send the message to those who persist in thoughtlessly polluting it that littering is not socially acceptable and has to stop, for the sake of all the places we call home.

“Seventy years ago, the formidable leaders of the Women’s Institute recognised that our beautiful country was becoming littered. Fast forward to 2024 and the problem is still with us, fueled by lifestyle changes and ever-increasing consumption-on-the-go.”

Much of the litter that volunteers collect is a result of our seemingly endless appetite for drinking on the go.

As much as 70 per cent of litter by volume is made up of plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans.

Allison added: “We know that we could tackle the problem of drinks-related litter very effectively with a deposit return scheme – something we are waiting to see introduced in this country as it has been around the world in countries including Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Romania, Australia and the United States.

“Until this happens, we are asking the great British public to help us remove as many of them as possible from the environment.”

This year’s campaign is made possible thanks to media partner Clear Channel, headline partner Calisen and supporting partners Coca-Cola, KFC, Mars Wrigley, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Pepsi MAX and Walkers. Keep Britain Tidy also thanks players of People’s Postcode Lottery for raising funds to support this campaign.

To find out more and to make a pledge please visit: www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean

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