More than 100,000 volunteers have now signed up to the Great British Spring Clean.
The milestone figure was surpassed yesterday – just over three weeks since the call went out for Britons to pledge their support.
Numbers have almost doubled in seven days thanks to schools and councils organising litter picks in their areas.
The effort was last night hailed for ‘turning the tide on litter pollution’ as campaigners said it showed the willingness to tackle waste is ‘fierce and growing.’ The Great British Spring Clean, which the Daily Mail is backing in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, aims to enlist half a million volunteers to take part in litter picks on beaches, streets and in parks across Britain.
It is hoped half a million people will sign up to the Great British Spring Clean, which has been backed by Theresa May and Sir David Attenborough (stock image)
It is hoped the nationwide effort between March 22 and April 23 will be the biggest environmental event of the year.
Last night 101,247 volunteers had pledged their support. Environment Secretary Michael Gove called it ‘wonderful news’, adding: ‘It is only by working together that we can clean up our communities and ensure we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.’
Allison Ogden-Newton, of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘To have reached 100,000 volunteers in just three weeks is astonishing and inspiring.
‘It is testament to just how much our campaign is resonating with the public who want to turn the tide on the litter pollution that is blighting our country. To everyone who hasn’t yet pledged to do their bit, I would encourage them to get on board and help make a difference that will benefit us all.’
The campaign has also been backed by the bosses of Sainsbury’s and Asda. Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe said, ‘We look forward to working together to do our bit’
Last year, 370,000 people took part in the Great British Spring Clean, collecting litter at 13,500 events across the UK. Theresa May, Sir David Attenborough and Prince William are just some of the figures who have thrown their weight behind the initiative. Yesterday Helen McFarlane of McDonald’s said the firm’s 120,000 UK staff are being encouraged to take part. ‘And it’s great to learn that more than 100,000 people have already signed up to join in the campaign with us,’ she said.
NEXT month, half a million Britons will get together with one huge mission in mind – to win the war on plastic.
And anyone can get involved! Visit gbspringclean.org to find all the information you need to join in too. This year, there are three ways you can help:
1) Pledge to contribute as an individual by picking up as much litter as you like, whenever you like, at any point.
2) Organise a clean-up with friends, neighbours or community group.
3) Join an organised clean-up group in your area. You can find details of groups on a special interactive online map.
Other High Street retailers including Marks and Spencer, Greggs, Wilko and Costa Coffee have also pledged their support, alongside Walkers, Coca-Cola, Mars Wrigley, cleaning firm Karcher and the People’s Postcode Lottery. Walkers also said it was urging thousands of staff to get involved, and was ‘determined to help spread the word’.
A spokesman for bakery chain Greggs said: ‘We are delighted that both our colleagues and customers care about the environment.’ Tackling plastic waste has been raised in the public consciousness by TV shows such as Blue Planet II and the Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign. The Government is currently consulting on a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles in the hope that it will reduce littering and increase recycling.
Louise Edge, of Greenpeace UK, said: ‘We applaud the dedication of each and every person who’s pledged to join the Great British Spring Clean. We urge the Government to take note that public support to tackle plastic pollution is fierce and it is growing.’
Emma Priestland, of Friends of the Earth, added: ‘Discarded plastic blights our environment and harms our wildlife, so it’s heart-warming that so many tens of thousands of people have volunteered to clean it up.’
101,247 have joined the Great British Spring Clean from Friday March 22 to April 23.
Follow the link to sign up too: gbspringclean.org
BBC Springwatch presenter CHRIS PACKHAM calls for Britons to tackle the scourge of litter as shock figures reveal MILLIONS of animals die in the UK each year after eating our waste
We can’t wait. Change has to come from us
Once you start thinking about litter, you notice it everywhere – cluttering verges and tangled in hedgerows – and the problem seems to be getting steadily worse.
Litter is ruining our beautiful countryside and open spaces, choking our parks and playgrounds, scarring our rivers and beaches, and turning our cities into apocalyptic wastelands.
Seal caught in plastic bag at Brixham harbour, Devon. The seal managed to free itself after 15 minutes of struggling but some animals trapped by our plastic waste are not so lucky
It is a disgusting situation that simply cannot continue, which is why I am so delighted to hear about the huge numbers of people coming together to do their bit to help clear it up.
It’s an amazing feat that more than 100,000 people have already signed up to the Great British Spring Clean – and there’s still time to do your bit! Just visit gbspringclean.org to take part.
A duck stuck in an energy drink can. There has been a massive increase in animal related deaths and injuries according to the RSPCA who are urging people to think of wildlife and stop littering
When there’s rubbish everywhere you look it can be very tempting to rail at the authorities for not providing more bins, not emptying them more frequently, or not spending our hard-earned taxes on rubbish clear-up crews. But change won’t happen if we leave it to them.
Change has to come from US. I’ve been an ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy for many years and I’m wholeheartedly supporting the Great British Spring Clean, which is being organised in conjunction with the Daily Mail.
This is a brilliant opportunity for us all to up our game and for communities across the country to get together to clear litter – specifically toxic plastic litter – from our environment.
I’ll certainly be doing my bit – I’m never too busy to join a clean-up crew, jump out of my car to pick up rubbish by the road, or hand litter back to someone who has thoughtlessly dropped it.
I’m lucky enough to travel to all corners of the country and beyond to research and film nature programmes (in fact I’m filming in Gambia right now) and the littering I have seen is shocking. It’s not just urban areas, bus stops, city centres and children’s playgrounds misused by loutish adults – rubbish even finds its way into the most remote rural areas, too.
Plastic rubbish and bottle washed up on a beaches has now become part of our landscape
I’ve always hated litter and I can’t stand the sight of our glorious countryside strewn with trash. We are at an ecological crisis point and it has never been more important to try to stop unmanaged plastic waste from harming our wildlife and being washed into rivers and waterways and ultimately reaching the ocean.
Paper and card might eventually decompose, but unless we go out and pick them up, plastic bottles, balloons and straws will just stay there for hundreds of years blighting the beautiful natural landscape and killing wildlife.
More than 3million voles, shrews and mice die each year when they crawl into discarded bottles and cans and find they can’t escape. There they slowly starve.
A hedgehog stuck in a discarded jam jar – showcases the effects of litter on wildlife
It is an awful, protracted and painful death. A discarded crisp packet or a single torn and deflated balloon can kill innocent creatures too. It only takes seconds for a swan or a duck, a deer, fox or stoat to swallow one.
A hedgehog looking for food can get its head trapped in a can or its throat lacerated on the sharp edges and a single elastic band presents a real choking hazard to animals and birds alike.
Whether you worry about the aesthetics of your litter-strewn neighbourhood, the putrid stench of your town’s fly-tipping ‘grot spot’, plastic pollutants reaching your plate or the tragic and very real damage to wildlife, no one can say plastic litter doesn’t matter.
Something has to be done, and the Great British Spring Clean is a great place to start.