Veolia, Hubbub and Westminster City Council partner to tackle litter problem in London
To provide context to the campaign a national poll was commissioned to determine the public's views on littering, with the consensus being that it is a scourge that should be seen like drink-driving.
- The public overwhelmingly agree that dropping litter is a disgusting habit (86%) – 66% strongly agree – and that litter on the streets encourages other people to drop litter (83%)
- A majority (54%) would like to confront someone they saw dropping litter but would not have the nerve – only 15% would do so
- 79% agree that people are more likely to drop litter when there’s no-one else about, while 50% agree that people are more likely to drop litter outside of their own neighbourhood
- People are most annoyed by half-eaten food or fast food packaging (53%), followed by litter thrown out of a car window (45%), litter left in green places (42%), used chewing gum (42%), empty drinks cans and bottles (42%)
- 10% of young people (age 18-24) agree that ‘dropping litter isn’t a big deal, we all do it from time to time’ and 15% agree that ‘it’s not really someone’s fault if they drop litter if there are no bins nearby’
- To tackle litter people would make littering as socially unacceptable as drink-driving (59%) and call for more bins (60%), rather than increasing fines (37%) or council spending (18%)
Hubbub, a new charity that uses different “hubs” of activity to interest mainstream consumers in sustainability issues, is launching Neat Streets, in partnership with Veolia to tackle the growing problem of litter on our streets. Launching in Westminster, a leading borough in heart of London, there will be a series of interactive installations and exhibitions over the summer in Villiers Street (near Charing Cross railway station) that will trial new ways of encouraging people not to litter.
New research by Populus shows that the public believe littering is getting worse: over half (51%) think more people drop litter now than did 10 years ago – while only 20% think it has improved.
To tackle littering, the public favours encouraging individuals to change behaviour, rather than increasing fines or council spending. Three-in-five believe that making littering as socially unacceptable as drink-driving (59%) and more bins (60%) are the most effective ways of reducing littering. Only 37% say the police should fine more people for littering, and just 18% say councils should spend more money on cleaning up litter.
Building on this, Hubbub is working closely with Westminster City Council and Veolia to pioneer a new approach to tackling litter through Neat Streets, with a view to seeing what will work elsewhere in the city and the UK.
A report by the Communities and Local Government Committee in March 2015 found that fast food litter and fly-tipping in England has increased by 20% in the last year, and that litter levels have not reduced for 12 years. Dealing with the problem costs taxpayers around £850m a year, demonstrating the need for new thinking on tackling litter.
Despite the strong feelings about litter, only 15% would confront someone they saw dropping it – a majority (54%) would like to but would not have the nerve. Older people are most likely to confront those who litter, with one-in-five of those over 65 saying they would intervene (19%) compared to fewer than one-in-ten (9%) of young people aged 18-24.
The first Neat Streets installations will be introduced ahead of the launch on May 22nd and will include:
- A street gallery of ‘My Street is Your Street’ posters to build a sense of pride in the area
- Gumdrop on-the-go bins for chewing gum
- A ‘talking rubbish’ interactive bin
- A ‘Peppermint Pointillist’ art installation, where people can dispose of chewing gum on crosses to reveal faces.
To coincide with the launch of Neat Streets, Hubbub is releasing its Litter Manifesto calling on government, business and local organisations to take action to make local spaces cleaner, safer and more inviting.
Launching Neat Streets, Trewin Restorick, CEO/Founder of Hubbub said:
“Littering affects us all – making our local spaces dirtier, less welcoming, and encouraging anti-social behavior – and it’s up to all of us to take action to tackle it.
“Hubbub is seeking to create a fresh approach to fighting litter making it easier for government, businesses and local organisations to work effectively together.
“We have found the best new approaches from around the world and are launching Neat Streets with a series of interactive installations throughout the summer to engage the public, raise awareness of littering and ultimately to change people’s behaviour.”
Pascal Hauret, Veolia's Regional Director for London, said:
"Litter is a huge national and local issue that is especially prevalent in densely populated and highly visited places such as London, where millions of people live, work and visit on a daily basis. As a company that is central to combating the litter epidemic on our streets, Veolia is an enthusiastic supporter of the Neat Streets campaign and hopes its legacy will be both long-lasting and far-reaching."
Cllr Richard Beddoe, Westminster City Council cabinet member for city management, said:
“Litter is a scourge on our streets, and we all need to take responsibility for tackling it. The council works incredibly hard to keep the streets clean for our 240,000 residents, and the millions of visitors and businesses that populate our city every day.
“But we should never stand still, so it is right that we look at new and innovative ideas. By teaming up with the private sector through local businesses and groups, we hope this pilot project will enable everyone to understand the challenges, and show how we can work together to combat them.”
Litter – 5 Point Manifesto
We think that everyone can work together to make local spaces cleaner, safer and more inviting.
Let’s all put litter in its place:
Notes to Editor:
For further information contact Hamir Patel: 07771 780 946 / 020 3544 4947
This initiative has been set up by Hubbub (www.hubbub.org.uk), a new charity that explores innovative ways to interest mainstream consumers in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods; Sport and Leisure.
With thanks to the core supporters of the campaign INCPEN, Veolia, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Packaging Federation and Westminster City Council.
The campaign is also being backed by the Metal Packaging Association, Packaging and Film Association, PlasticsEurope, and TMA.