The litter survey was carried out across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole when litter patterns across the region were mapped. The results have been analysed and litter-busting interventions – including the world’s first disco bin, glow in the dark bins and voting bins – have now been launched in key hotspots.
The survey provided unprecedented insight into the type of litter that’s being dropped, where and when across the region. The information gathered is helping inform street cleaning schedules and the placement of interventions in the area’s green spaces, streets and beaches.
Early data from the surveys shows:
- More than 123,000 items were identified over the seven days of half term, up from 22,266 in the March survey (454 per cent increase)
- The top 3 items littered (in terms of number of items) were:
- Cigarettes – 47,467
- Paper (such as receipts and napkins) – 32,678
- Plastic fragments (eg. bits of plastic bottles, corners of confectionery wrapping, plastic that seagulls have pulled apart) – 6,578
- 6,977 items of litter (5.7%) were family-related items, including 370 toys, 342 wet wipes and 147 juice cartons
Putting bins in the right place and emptying them regularly is only half of the challenge. Getting people to use them can be the real conundrum.
Environmental charity Hubbub has instigated a range of playful initiatives to make the area’s bins more engaging and noticeable. These include glow in the dark bins and the world’s first disco bin that lights up and plays music. Others allow you to can vote with your rubbish and there is a Catch of the Day spoof fishmonger stall which will pop up at weekends.
People will be directed to the next nearest bin if the closest one is full, while ballot bins will tackle cigarette butts in hotspots based on data from Ellipsis Earth’s trash treasure maps.
The drone technology was used in the Italian town of Sorrento last summer, where it was hailed a huge success. Authorities reduced litter by 45 per cent and cigarette butt waste by 69 per cent. This was done through communication campaigns with visitors and business owners and strategically placing new litterbins and ashtrays across the town, informed by the data collected.
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be surveyed once again in August to assess the effectiveness of the actions taken.
The data also showed:
- Over 1.5 tonnes of litter identified in 7 days, including over half a tonne of glass bottles
- Plastics were identified as having the longest-term impact on the environment
- PPE only made up 0.7 per cent of total litter
- More food sachets (1,677) were identified than plastic bottles (1,530). Sachets are another Covid-related trend, which is problematic for the environment
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