As the days get longer and the sun gets hotter, we find ourselves spending more and more time outdoors, enjoying the spring/summer weather. Many local authorities have seen a rise in the demand for litter picking bags, as people are now beginning to start their very own litter picks and local clean-ups. As well as people going out to do their own clean ups, there are also lots of local, regional and national litter picking events which are run during the summer season. This time of year certainly sees a rise in the number of waste clear ups and it is brilliant to see that so many people are wanted to help clean up our planet. Here are a few handy tips to help you along the way:
Wear gloves and wellies!
It is important to protect both your feet and hands during your litter picks – your hands most importantly. The only fact you know is that the waste has been littered, you do not know for how long, by who, or what else it has come into contact with. The current COVID-19 pandemic means this risk is heightened even more, as such it is always important to wear gloves, to help remain hygienic but also avoid cuts or other wounds. Wellies are also a good item to wear, a lot of the litter gets stuck in the mud – don’t have the same fate.
Take a few gardening tools
For those who want to get down and dirty and maybe even find some buried treasures, you should go armed with a few small gardening tools. A rake or shovel will be great to unearth the dug in litter, which has probably been there for some time. Using the tools will help keep your hands clean and safe and the litter bagged.
Take a few spare waste bags and liners
Litter can be deceiving and often many people collect a lot more than they expect to, so it is always good to have a second bag at hand if it soon becomes full. Glass and wood could also pierce the bags too leaving rips or holes, so that extra liner can be used to double bag your waste so it will not leak back into the environment.
Take note of what and where
Something they recommend doing during the GB Spring clean is to take notes of what type of litter has been collected and where it was found. This will give a good indication of what the biggest offenders in littered waste is, and where it is most likely to be littered. From this, you can try to find ways on how to handle this waste better, whether it is as simple as local authorities placing some more bins in hot spot areas or putting up anti-litter signs in that area. Or even find better ways to clearly label highly litter products to encourage correct waste management, this will be part of the producer’s responsibility.
Wear a high-vis
Safety comes first, so always wear a high-vis, even in areas that you think you are well seen – this is just an additional safety precaution to take into account.
Litter picking is not just good for the planet but is good for both your mental and physical health, so grab a bag and a picker and make a difference.