Reducing the amount of litter in your local area.

Curriculum Examples

  • English – write an instructional text about how to safely conduct a litter pick: ‘Litter-acy.’
  • Maths – record the different litter items found during a litter pick in a graph or chart, can this be reduced (Step 6).
  • Art – use ‘clean’ litter to create artworks and sculptures.

Visit our Litter Pinterest for more ideas

The Great Big School Clean

Eco-Schools and Keep Britain Tidy’s Great Big School Clean is back for 2021!

28th May – 13th June 2021!

This year we’re on a  #MillionMileMission. We’re asking schools to pledge how many pupils will take part and how many minutes they will litter-pick for. Then, using a slow walking pace of three miles per hour, we will calculate how many miles of litter picking your school will complete or have completed. We hope that together we can collectively complete a million miles of litter picking… or in other terms, enough litter picking to get to the moon and back twice!

The Great Big School Clean will take place from 28th May – 13th June 2021, but any litter picks completed in the meantime will also count towards our total if you enter your data. Click the link below to discover resources and pledge to pick!

Pledge to Pick!

Other Actions

Need more ideas? Here are some of our favourite links to help you work on our Litter topic.

Helping Hand Environmental

If you want to purchase litter picking equipment for your school, we recommend ordering from Helping Hand Environmental using our School Order Form. Helping Hand provides a range of customisable litter picking equipment in a variety of sizes and designs suitable for even the youngest Eco-Committee members. Using our order form entitles you to discounts and helps support the Eco-Schools programme.

Visit Helping Hand Environmental

Waste Services, Local Authorities

Waste services at many local authorities will offer to loan schools litter picking equipment, help organise a litter pick or deliver assemblies in schools. You can search for your local authority online or find your contact on our LEA Support page.

Find local support

Litter Topic Winner, Eco-Schools Award Ceremony

Catherine Junior School in Leicester are expert litter pickers, leading the Wrigley Litter Less campaign in Leicester.

Read Catherine Junior School’s story here


Balloon and Lantern Release Statement

We know that balloon releases have been a traditional way to celebrate special achievements or events, but our attitudes towards them need to change. ‘Biodegradable’ balloon or lantern releases in schools are not part of our ethos and will be challenged. Please use our Plastic Alternatives Guide for other ideas to balloon or lantern releases, glitter and single use plastics in schools.

School Examples

Gorse Hall Primary School, Stalybridge

To celebrate 21 years of being an Eco-School, Gorse Hall Primary School decided to participate in Keep Britain Tidy and Eco-Schools Great Big School Clean (which is an annual event that happens each spring). Despite the school grounds looking beautiful and immaculate, it didn't take long for the Year 5 pupils and the school's Eco-Committee to fill a whole refuse sack with litter. Most of the litter found was based around the school perimeter, having blown in from outside the school grounds and single-use plastics made up the vast majority of the litter collected. This is a particular problem as plastic harms wildlife and pupils at Gorse Hall had recently discovered a pair of voles and nesting blue tits in the pond area of their school grounds. Not only was the litter pick fun, it also made students at Gorse Hall realise the damage dropping litter can do to our environment!

School Website

St Alban's Roman Catholic Primary School, Blackburn

Last year, the Eco-Committee at St Alban's decided to invest in 8 litter pickers for their school and since then they have cleaned up their school grounds at least twice a week during morning play times. Once a week, they also try to get out into their community to litter pick during lunch break. The group of children litter picking each week has to change, because so many of the children at St Alban's want to get involved! School Litter Monitors help their Eco-Coordinator organise the litter picks and the Committee have also contacted their local Council who sent a representative to their school to talk to everyone about waste and looking after their environment. They also share their litter picking achievements on social media with local group Keep Blackburn Tidy - a great examples of Step 5: Informing and Involving!
For the Great Big School Clean 2019 the whole school (from Nursery to Year 6) litter picked both inside and outside the School grounds: loaning additional litter picking equipment from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Key Stage 2 collected 25 bags of litter, a tyre, a television, a shopping trolley, a chair, a fire extinguisher and a bike from outside the school grounds and EYFS and KS1 collected 7 bags of litter from inside school grounds. A few days later, they held another litter pick and invited Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHero Wayne Dixon and his dog Koda.
Since beginning their work on the Eco-Schools Litter topic, pupils have had fun and noticed how much difference their litter picking has made to the local area. The school have also had plenty of local residents calling to say thank you!

School Website

Emscote Infant School, Warwick

The Eco-Team at Emscote Infant school decided it was their duty to lead from the front. They put their vests on, picked up their pickers and went for a walk in their local conservation area collecting all of the rubbish they found. When they got back to school they sorted the rubbish, recycling what they could and discarding the rest. Finally, they shouted out about their work in their school newsletter (setting a brilliant example to all their classmates and working on Eco-Schools Step 5: Informing and Involving). Great work!

School Website

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