Litter Hotspots – Why & Where?

The summer months are fast approaching, which means more people will be out enjoying the warmer weather. However, the flip side also means there will be an influx of abandoned litter too. In a study carried out by the WWF, litter sees a 40% increase in the summer months, this is across the entirety of the UK, including beaches, countrysides, streets, and pathways. But what is the reason behind this sudden influx?

Why?

Overflowing bins is a sign of poor waste management

Simply put, the higher the footfall, the greater the possibilities of waste crimes such as littering. The warmer weather and longer days of sunlight during the summer months see more and more people out and about enjoying the lighter nights and hotter temperatures. Not only that but with no school and the holiday season in full swing during this time, another influx of people is inevitable.

With an increase in population in certain areas, it will of course increase the likelihood that waste will be produced, and whilst we always encourage people to handle waste responsibly, reiterating the message doesn’t always guarantee people will follow it. Discarded litter is left behind by many individuals, dropping them on the ground, stashing them in bushes and hedgerows, leaving them on walls, and even in some cases throwing or hanging them from trees – which is very common for dog waste bags.

It is important to note not everyone litters their waste – many do take good care and bin the rubbish. The increase in footfall can often cause some bins to become full and begin to overflow, unintentionally causing litter. Many may see an overflowing bin and add their waste to the exposed pile – this IS littering, in this instance, the best solution would be to find a bin that is not overfilled or to simply take all rubbish home.

Where?

So now we know why this litter is happening, it is also good to understand where it is happening. You will find litter in almost every corner of the globe, but some areas can experience far higher litter levels than others.

Holiday parks, entertainment resorts like zoos and theme parks, beaches, local parks and even sporting fields are often areas that see increases in popularity during summer.

What is the solution?

By understanding the why and where, you can put some plans in place to help tackle the issue. One would be introducing more bins in hot spot areas with high traffic – these additional bins will encourage good waste management, and try prevent the waste from being mishandled. If more bins are not an option or the area already has sufficient numbers of bins, perhaps try increasing the consistency of waste collections. This will help to keep the bins from becoming too full and overflowing.

Anti-litter posters are also a great way to try and deter waste crime. They are a cost-effective solution to help spread the message, not only could it try to discourage the act of littering but it could include information such as where the nearest bins are – this knowledge may help reduce the impacts.

Littering is a criminal offense and the guilty party can be fined up to £2,500 in court. However, these legal fines are often not known or implemented. Many are calling for stricter penalties for litterers or fly-tippers, for the actual penalties to be implemented, and even more widely spoken of and known. These fines can be implemented on the posters, in the hopes they will stop people from committing the offenses and correctly disposing of their waste.

Cromwell’s anti-litter pack

Cromwell has devised an anti-litter pack, which has posters, social media post graphics, and an information booklet, all of which are FREE to download, for people to use in their hotspot litter areas.

Keep an eye out for this new pack, as it will be released in the coming weeks.

Tackle litter with our litter picking bags.