Cromwell’s clean-up for the GB Spring Clean – Plastics are far from the only culprit

Every year our team dusts off our litter pickers to join Keep Britain Tidy’s annual Spring Clean. We have been taking part in the nationwide litter pick for several years now, and 2021 proved no different, in fact, we were able to cover more areas than ever before, with our new ‘Flexi-Pick’ initiative.

Cromwell’s Flexi-Pick meant that all members of our staff across both sites, working from the office, factory and from home were able to join the cleanup and take part in a litter pick. Having equipment readily available to all staff, we were able to tackle 5 clear-ups, over the past 2 weeks, carried out in five different areas, expanding our usual litter picking coverage.

4 litter picks were carried out around the Sherburn in Elmet area, and 1 other litter pick was carried out at our manufacturing site CPR, which is based in Alfreton. Office workers, factory staff, and team members working from home took the time out to carry out a clean-up, in residential, woodland, and industrial areas. The findings showed a far wider range of litter and material collected, rather than just the usual media shamed plastics.

More than 700 items were collected, in 15 bags which weighed almost 15kg. Here are our worst and most unusual offenders:

  • Cigarette buts (100’s were found)
  • Glass bottles
  • Aluminium cans
  • Face masks, gloves, tissues and wet wipes
  • Paper / cardboard fragments
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic bags
  • Crisps and sweet wrappers
  • Foil
  • Bottle tops
  • A metal chair
  • 2 metals sides of a computer tire
  • A pet collar
  • An old coat
  • Lock and key

These were just some of the many items littered across the 5 areas which we covered, with all types of materials being collected, including paper, glass, plastic, foil, cotton, and much more. There was a significant increase in PPE and hygiene products found this year in comparison to our September clean, as well as a big increase in glass bottles and tin cans.

The more rural and woodland areas saw high levels of fly-tipping, finding old chairs, broom handles, and computer parts. Whereas the industrial estate areas were a hot spot for cigarette butts and food packaging and plastic bottles, the residential areas such as parks saw lots of glass bottles and aluminium cans. It was also proven that even when bins are available, littering is still occurring in those areas – which we could argue means litter fines need to be far stricter.

It is always a pleasure to take part in the GB Spring Clean each year, and this year’s Flexi-pick has allowed us to cover more areas and collect more items, a successful litter pick for all our team.