It will rally an army of volunteers across the country to clean up their local areas and will include a special clean-up weekend on March 4–6. Adrian Evans, who has been appointed as Campaign Director, ran The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in 2012. With the full backing of Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign already has the support of well-known national organisations with a total membership in excess of 1.5 million, as well as individual ambassadors.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart MP said, “Her Majesty The Queen is an inspiration to all of us. Her 90th birthday is a unique opportunity for people to come together in celebration of Her Majesty’s long service and dedication to this country.
“Everyone has a responsibility to keep their community tidy and this campaign provides us with a great chance to protect our wildlife and improve the quality of our streets and public spaces. I hope it will help lead to a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Britain.”
About 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day. Thirty million tons of rubbish are collected from England’s streets each year. That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium four times over.
The Highways Agency clears about 180,000 sacks of litter from motorways and A roads alone. There could be 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean. About 80% of that comes from the land. Plastic takes at least 450 years to break down in seawater.
In 2013/14, local authorities dealt with 852,000 fly-tipping incidents in England and Wales. These cost roughly £45 million to clear up. The RSPCA receives 7,000 calls a year about animals injured by litter.
In 2013, 8.3 billion single-use plastic bags were handed out in the UK. The amount of litter on UK beaches has almost doubled over the past 15 years.
An RSPB study found that 95% of fulmars washed up dead on the North Sea coast had ingested plastic.
How long does it take to biodegrade?
- Paper bag up to one month
- Orange peel up to two years
- Banana skin up to two years
- Plastic bag up to 10–20 years
- Cigarette butts up to 12 years
- Plastic bottle up to 450 years
- Glass bottles and chewing gum are not biodegradable
How much is it costing?
- It costs taxpayers almost £1 billion every year to clean up litter from our streets
- The cost of cleaning up chewing gum from a town centre is up to £60,000
- Fly-tipping costs Network Rail more than £2.3 million each year
- Clearing litter costs Dartmoor National Park £20,000 a year
- According to a 2014 Keep Britain Tidy report, if we recycled 50% of items littered in England, it would have an economic value of at least £14.8 million
To take part in Clean for The Queen, please register here, where you’ll find advice and tips about how to join a group or to simply do your bit.
If every adult picked up just one piece of litter and put it in a bin, that would be more than 50 million pieces of rubbish disposed of. Imagine if everyone picked up at least one piece of litter every day for the next nine months. We can do it. We can all Clean for The Queen.