Bystander effect: the theory that not only are we reluctant to be the first to act, but the greater the number of people not doing something, the more we feel we do not have to either.

Fact: The rat population has boomed to 60m due to the huge amounts of litter around, this means there are now almost as many rats as people in the UK.

Use our Litter Pinterest to find ideas to reuse the ‘clean’ litter you have collected

Balloon & Lantern Releases
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 replace balloon and lantern releases, glitter and single use plastics in schools.

The Great Big School Clean

Thank you to all the 175,055 students who made The Great Big School Clean 2019 the biggest ever!

The Great Big School Clean will be back in 2020, but in the meantime check out our Guide to Litter Picking.

You don’t have to wait for The Great Big School Clean 2020 to get out and get litter picking, use our Litter Picking Guide to organise litter picks in your school and local community.

Litter picking is a great excuse to go outdoors, its fun and great evidence for your Green Flag Award! It’s also a powerful message to society, as one Eco-Committee member said to us:

“Adults must think, ‘How embarrassing that children have to pick up our litter,'”

Other Actions

Plogging: litter picking whilst jogging. Linking the Litter and Healthy Living topics in one action!

Are you (or is one of your teachers) a Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHeroes


School Examples

Birchwood High, Warrington

On the 2nd April 2019, Birchwood Community High's Eco-Committee took part in Keep Britain Tidy's "The Great Big School Clean." The Committee organised a day of activities that focused on the impact of litter on the environment. For Eco-Schools Step 5: Informing and Involving they invited year 4 students from a local primary school to join them. The first half of the day was spent litter picking in and around the school site: 32 people were involved (a mixture of Committee members, primary school pupils and volunteers). In total 100kg of litter was collected including 358 crisp packets, some of which were 11 years old! In the second half of the day they learnt about how litter can impact our oceans and how long it takes for different types of litter to biodegrade. While these activities were taking place, in whole-school citizenship lessons pupils learnt about the impact of litter on the ocean and how to solve the litter problem by following reduce, reuse, recycle.

School Website

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