19 July 2020

The Great British Tidy

Read Time: 4 mins

You can’t have helped but notice that since the lockdown was eased here in the UK, the amount of litter left in British streets, lay-byes and parks has been remarkable. As the UK’s largest ‘Man and Van’ style clearance company, we know a thing or two about rubbish: most notably that there was a 300% increase in fly tipping while the local authority tips were still not in operation. But since the tips have reopened, instances of littering have visibly increased.

Most shockingly, the RSPCA has reported that they have received more than 21,600 reports of animals being either injured or caught up in litter. In an attempt to raise awareness of the problem before it gets becomes even further out of hand, a series of anti-littering campaigns have leapt into life.

Here are a few high profiles ways in which you can get involved with what we’re calling The Great British Tidy…


Don’t Be A Tosser

Straight to the point and close to the knuckle, Suffolk County Council are taking on the litter louts who are abusing public spaces since the lockdown eased. Surprisingly though, Suffolk also experiences an unhealthy amount of discarded PPE equipment which sees masks and gloves left behind for someone else to clear up.


‘The Don’t Be A Tosser’ campaign was first launched in 2008 and driven by BBC Radio Suffolk breakfast show presenter Mark Murphy. It’s not only widely supported across Suffolk, but also award-winning and has a proven track record of impacting on preventing litter dropping and anti-social behaviour in general. With a title like that, it’s hardly surprising.


The Great British Spring Clean

Keep Britain Tidy has been making sure the streets are clean since 1954 and has some impressive stats on their side, including 9 million fewer single-use plastic bags and the collection of 1 million bags of litter. This year, The Great British Spring Clean invites you to pledge your support and either organise a private clean up with you and 5 of your (socially-distanced) friends, or go solo on a litter pick and give as little as 15 minutes to the cause.


There are resources aplenty on the Keep Britain Tidy website, including downloadable Facebook banners, email signatures and risk assessment templates so you can easily spread the word while you’re getting involved as well as meet like-minded individuals. There’s even a swish-looking t-shirt you can buy so you can look the part too.


N2Othing to Laugh About


The town of St Helens in Merseyside has long-since lost their sense of humour about their litter situation. Not only has the amount of litter increased after visitors have left local parks, but the number of used nitrous oxide canisters has gone sky-high. More commonly known as ‘NOS’ or ‘Laughing Gas’, the use of the drug (and the litter it leaves behind) became more widespread in line with the closure of bars and pubs.

Whereas the drug itself is illegal to supply, it is widely regarded as harmless, with the metals canisters which are left behind being the most harmful side effect. But the reality is, the possible results of inhaling the chemical directly from the canister is suffocation, frostbite, or even death. The ‘N2Othing to Laugh About’ campaign aims to reduce the amount of litter left in parks as well as educate about the use of Nitrous Oxide and is aimed at St Helens’, but carries an important message for people nationwide.


Scotland in Stunning…

… Keep It That Way is Zero Waste Scotland’s battle cry in the war on litter. The campaign focuses on the beauty of Scottish lochs, parks and mountains and how those who enjoy it should help to preserve it. It’s a pre-emptive measure as Scotland’s tourism industry opens once again, and is no doubt inspired by the post-lockdown litter in the rest of the UK.


It doesn’t just stop with litter though. The campaign is set to go head-to-head with those who leave abandoned campsites, burned-out barbeques and even human excrement at beauty spots across Scotland. The knock-on effect of actions such as these is catastrophic for the Scottish countryside and are not only criminal offences, but present a danger to other visitors and wildlife.

Keep your eye out for the #BinYourLitter campaign across social media; whilst the movement it Scotland-centric, the concerns are universal.



Perhaps the most high-profile anti-littering campaign has come from a company who have long been in a battle against the negative impact of their products being strewn around the streets. We’re talking about McDonald’s. Unfortunately, once the fast food chain reopened with the easing of the UK lockdown, it was difficult to miss the re-emergence of French Fries cartons and burger boxes.

McDonald’s, however, has been dealing with litter issues since their inception and employs staff who walk 5000 miles to patrol the streets and pick up the paraphenalia. They’re taking the fight to social media this time too, with the #GetInTheBin campaign. Aiming at people between the age of 18 and 34, the eye-catching images show Premier League football pitches, dating apps and video game scenes covered in rubbish, in a bid to connect with their less conservation-conscious customers. You can follow the hashtag on social media so you too can go large on litter.

fast food packaging

Let’s get tidying, Britain.

About Clearabee

Clearabee operates nationwide on-demand rubbish clearance and waste removal services, with over 120 vehicles and 300 directly employed staff. Our core services include our industry-leading rubbish clearance service as well as our skip bag, skip hire and sofa removal services.

Clearabee has been ranked as the fastest-growing waste management company in Europe for 3 years running and featured on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track for the last two years.

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