Ever put your rubbish next to or on top of an overflowing bin – or throw it down the drain – and given yourself a pat on the back for not littering? Well, sorry buddy, but I have bad news.  

You friend are a tidy litterer. And your little bits of tidy litter – cigarette butts, food wrappers and the like – are much more likely to end up in the ocean.

Which means they’re much more likely to end up in the marine food chain, and in your fish & chips. Tasty.

Yep – the verdict is officially in. Around 300 tonnes of litter are scooped out of the Thames annually. So how much gets into the other XYZ rivers in the UK. And that’s not even to mention all the plastic (and microplastic) that ends up floating out to sea.

It’s time to start rethinking our (tidy) littering habits. Here’s five things you can do.

1. Don’t litter (obviously). Use the bin (again, quite obvious).

If you see some litter – pick it up, put it in a bin, and give yourself a shiny little Good Behaviour Point. If the bin is full, find another one or take your litter home. Revolutionary stuff, right?

2. Get to know your community and clean your streets at the same time.

Join the Great British Spring Clean from 22 March to 23 April 2019 to help raise awareness about littering and clean the streets! Find your local clean-up group or go one step further and host one yourself.

3. Make Britain Clean Again

You can now take photos of the litter you see in your area and upload them to an app called Littergram so that councils can better identity litter grot spots and clear up the mess.

Improving the environment one social media pic at a time time.

4. Take part in the viral #TrashTag challenge

It turns out that we can get off our butts, help our community and make positive change for our environment, we just need to be challenged to post pics of it on social media. Problem solved! Check out the people who did it (with style).

5. Feeling especially anti-littering?

Why not start a project to tackle littering? ‘But I wouldn’t know where to start,’ I hear you cry! Look no further: the team at Hubbub have created a platform that showcases a bunch of great ideas and best practices from people who have done amazing things to turn the tide on littering. Check it out here.

Featured image credit: Rubbish. Credit: oatsy40