Cash to get local people fighting litter problems

Funds will help encourage people to combat litter problems.
Funds will help encourage people to combat litter problems.

A new £500,000 fund to help community groups tackle the issue of littering in their neighbourhood has been launched by the Goverfnment.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced the Litter Innovation Fund, which will offer financial help to assist new ways to tackle a problem that blights many communities.

The money will support new innovations and approaches to tackle littering, from behavioural research for better positioned bins and recycling points so more people throw their rubbish away, to digital technology, including apps and ‘smart-bins’ that can text alerts to rubbish collectors when they are full, stopping nasty litter from spilling out on to our high streets or leading people to litter nearby.

Cleaning up the country’s streets costs the tax payer almost £800million a year and the Litter Innovation Fund will support areas to crack down and reduce littering in our communities by enabling councils, community groups, charities, educational institutions, and small and medium enterprises to apply for funding towards innovative and creative solutions to the problem.

Dr Coffey said: “Tackling the litter that blights streets across our country is an important part of our drive to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

“I pay tribute to those who help clear up our pavements and verges.

“The Litter Innovation Fund offers a great opportunity for the most creative solutions to littering to receive funding and for us all to learn new ways of how to stop littering happening.

“Ten per cent of the fund is entirely dedicated to preventing marine litter, a growing problem with global consequences for our precious marine environment.

“I encourage groups to get involved and showcase the wealth of options there are out there to tackle littering.

“Let’s help people make the right choices.”

Research by Keep Britain Tidy suggests that around one in five Britons admits to having dropped litter in the past.

The group’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Innovation is vital if we are to change the behaviour of the minority of people who still think it is OK to drop their rubbish on the ground for someone else to pick up.

“We are delighted to see the Government has recognised the importance of innovation to tackle the blight of littering in our country.”

Local Government Association environment spokesman Martin Tett welcomed the fund.

“Litter and fly-tipping costs council taxpayers around £1 billion a year,” he said.

“We would now urge Government to build further on this encouraging step and hand councils the powers they need to rid communities of litter.”