More than 2,000 people visited the recent Clean Up Wilts roadshows around the county. The roadshows raised awareness of the issues related to litter across the county, the need to reduce the impact on the environment and the cost incurred as a result of having to pick up litter.
People attending were encouraged to switch to reusable items, recycle more and to sign up to take part in local litter picks as part of this year’s Great British Spring Clean.
Clean Up Wilts is a countywide litter campaign, sponsored by Landmarc Support Services, which aims to reduce the annual £2.5million bill taxpayers currently pay to clean up litter in Wiltshire.
The roadshows were launched in Salisbury, supported by Landmarc, Idverde, Spire FM, McDonald’s and Salisbury City Council, and visited Tidworth, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Devizes, where the Clean Up Devizes community group took action in the town’s Market Place to raise awareness of the issue.
750 sponsored Clean Up Wilts reusable mugs and 600 reusable bags were handed out to the public, while a radio campaign, sponsored by Spire FM, promoted the Clean Up Wilts roadshows and highlighted the time it takes for food-on-the-go packaging to degrade – around 30 years for a paper cup and 80 years for a crisp packet.
More than 100 businesses have signed the Clean Up Wilts pledge to reduce waste; and many coffee shops, restaurants and trade stalls that sell takeaway drinks now offer a discount when customers use a recyclable mug.
Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for waste, said: “We’re delighted with the success of the Clean Up Wilts roadshows. This campaign is a great way to let people across the county know about the wider issues around litter, and to offer advice on how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
“We hope as many people as possible will join local community groups and take part in this year’s Great British Spring Clean in March, to help tackle the litter hot spots in communities.
“We currently spend £2.5m each year cleaning up litter in Wiltshire. That money that could be better spent on vital services. Wiltshire is a beautiful county, and we want to keep it that way.”
The next phase of Clean Up Wilts is the Great British Spring Clean, a national campaign, has been rescheduled to the weekend of 23-25 March, as a result of the extreme weather conditions experienced across the country last weekend (3-5 March), when the event was originally scheduled.
The Great British Spring Clean aims to bring people together to clean up the litter that blights their local communities. More than 100 litter picks are currently registered for the 2018 Great British Spring Clean across the county’s 18 community areas, with more to be confirmed.
Litter pick organisers are now engaging with communities to ask them to support local events. To find out more about the Great British Spring Clean and to find an event near you, go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/cleanupwilts.