Cromwell Polythene’s Litter Pick activity for the Great British September Clean reveals multiple waste types being discarded

Cromwell Polythene and its manufacturing and recycling division, CPR Manufacturing, have undertaken a voluntary litter pick for Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British September Clean (11-27 September).

The socially distanced activity was undertaken on 11th September 2020. Cromwell Polythene’s clean-up of its local area in Sherburn in Elmet, near Leeds, resulted in 185 items of litter, including miscellaneous pieces of all types of material, being collected by two teams. The team at the CPR Manufacturing site, based in Alfretron, Derbyshire, found 60 items, plus hundreds of cigarette butts and several pieces of paper, tyre, bolts, and screws in their nearby vicinity. In total eight bags of litter were collected, weighing 15 kg.

As well as being an eyesore on our environment, litter discarded on our streets, or that enters our rivers and seas, can harm wildlife. In addition, items can contain toxic materials that are hazardous to our health. If illegally dumped, these can leach into water sources, contaminate the soil, and pollute the air.

A variety of different types of material were collected by the three Cromwell teams, including hundreds of cigarette butts. Keep Britain Tidy’s litter survey 2019, commissioned by Defra found that cigarette stubs are the most commonly littered item, accounting for 66% of all litter items dropped.

Other items found by Cromwell included wet wipes, a toy car, a discarded football, food wrappers, wood panelling, a money bag, clothing, a vehicle rubber mud-flap, electrical wires, foil, pottery, disposable coffee cups, and plastic bottles.

James Lee, managing director of Cromwell Polythene, said: “Protecting the environment is extremely important, and in the public’s efforts to do so, plastic has become the focus of attention. Our litter pick shows, and we continue to reiterate, that plastic itself is not the problem, but waste – of all types of material – is.

“We know that we all need to do more to act sustainably, but litter pollution is not just about plastics or inadequate infrastructure for recovery and recycling, moreover it’s about behaviour. People create litter and our sample survey shows that there is still room for improvement across local communities to show that we love where we live.”

Cromwell is proud to support a number of projects, which help make a difference to the cleanliness of our streets and protect our planet.  This includes supporting this Keep Britain Tidy event, which usually takes place in the spring, for several years, as well as regularly undertaking activity to support WRAP’s Recycle Week, which also takes place in September.

In addition, as a member of The British Plastics Federation (BPF), Cromwell is a signatory to Operation Clean Sweep, an international initiative from the plastics industry, led by the BPF. The initiative’s aim is to ensure that the plastic pellets, flakes, and powders that pass through manufacturing facilities in the UK are handled with the care they deserve and do not end up in our rivers or seas. By signing up to Operation Clean Sweep®, Cromwell has made a commitment to adhere to best practice and implement systems to prevent plastic pellet loss.

To find out more about the annual Great British September Clean, visit https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

For more information about Cromwell Polythene’s activity for the Great British September Clean and the support it provides people during Recycle Week, visit

www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk