BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 31 Aug '19

Help clean up the countryside with nationwide Green Clean litter picks

This September, CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) is mobilising almost 20 local CPRE groups, in partnership with other local community groups and passionate volunteers, to clean up local green spaces and countryside as part of its nationwide Green Clean.

Evidence from the Green Clean will be used to highlight the urgent need for a deposit return system that includes drinks cans, plastic and glass bottles, cartons and pouches of all sizes.

Transform green spaces

Running for one month, and with events taking place from Somerset to Northumberland, the countryside charity wants as many people as possible to get involved in their local Green Clean events and help improve their local environment.

Last year, litter pickers collected hundreds of bags of litter and over 11,000 drinks bottles and cans, of all shapes, sizes and materials.

This not only helped to transform local green spaces across the country, but also demonstrated that drinks containers of all kinds are left polluting the natural world supporting the need for an ‘all-in’ deposit return system.

Evidence for an ‘all-in’ DRS

This evidence, which was submitted during the government’s consultation, contributed to making the case to former Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, who recently gave his backing to an ‘all-in’ system, stating that, ‘an ‘all-in’ model will give consumers the greatest possible incentive to recycle’.

‘Litter left in our countryside, streets, parks and rivers isn’t just an eyesore, it can be extremely harmful to wildlife and nature, and cost tax-payers millions of pounds in clean-up costs every year. Through the collective effort of local people, this year’s Green Clean will transform local green spaces back to a beautiful litter-free state.

‘Last year we collected a staggering number of harmful drinks cans, bottles, cartons and pouches, demonstrating how vital it is that every single type of drinks container is included England’s deposit return system. That small financial incentive will stop them from being littered, making such a huge difference to our environment and wildlife.’

MADDY HAUGHTON-BOAKES
Campaign lead at CPRE

With a new Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, now in post, CPRE will use this year’s Green Clean to demonstrate that the problem still persists, and urge the new Secretary of State to pick up where her predecessor left off, and introduce the best possible scheme as swiftly as possible.

Once introduced, a deposit return system will boost recycling rates for drinks cans, bottles, cartons and pouches to more than 90%, virtually eliminating litter of this kind in our countryside where it can cause harm to our environment.