Littering has always been a problem that has binned Britain in to griminess. Blotches of gum stuck to the pavement, food packets sprawled across parks and graffiti sprayed onto buildings is all too familiar so many government schemes have been thought up to combat the dirty dilemma.
In July 2010 London mayor Boris Johnson arranged a ‘gum gala’ in an attempt to rid the capital of the stretchy substance before the 2012 Olympics arrive. Many market leaders such as Wrigley and Cadbury attended along with supporting organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy and the Chewing Gum Action Group. It is estimated that £10 million is spent annually on cleaning the street to remove gum and the meeting proposed to cut this and get the UK out of its sticky situation. Cleaning companies are regularly employed to do this as they own the necessary gum removal equipment.
Other schemes on a smaller scale include Litter Action – an organisation encouraging the public to set up local litter picking groups to help keep Britain clean. This has been successful with over 300 litter groups set up in the UK voluntarily with 41,675 bags of litter picked up since the campaign started in 2007.
In Bath graffiti artists are being directly confronted as a council team works with the offenders educating them on the damage they are doing whilst also taking them to see graffiti being removed. Many counties across the UK suffer from graffiti vandalism with many councils opting to use anti graffiti paint to battle the issue.
Other boroughs unable to fund street cleaning services themselves have opted to get the public involved. In Broxbourne the ‘adopt a street’ campaign was started to encourage locals who have free time to volunteer to be a litter picker. The council allows individuals to choose which area to ‘adopt’ and provides them with the appropriate equipment. Suggested as a great idea for ‘individuals who like to take walks’ is debatable, but it is agreeable that the scheme is a great way to get school children involved in a proactive movement.
The one scheme that has been compulsory implemented in every UK town and City is the Clean Neighbourhoods Act. This law aims to prevent littering and means that any person who drops litter will be fined £75 on the spot by law.