The Great British Spring Clean and Big School Spring Clean

This spring, Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) are calling on #LitterHeroes and schools across the country to help improve the environment on their doorstep.


  • What is The Great British Spring Clean and Big School Clean?
  • How to register

The Great British Spring Clean and Big School Spring Clean

22 March-23 April 2019

This spring, Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) are calling on #LitterHeroes and schools across the country to help improve the environment on their doorstep. They are aiming to inspire 500,000 people to join forces - in partnership with community organisations, businesses and the government - to collect and safely dispose of litter and single-use plastic from our streets, parks and beaches, recycling as much as possible.

The Great British Spring Clean is the country’s biggest, mass-participation environmental campaign. Colchester Borough Council (CBC) is also encouraging residents, businesses and schools to register and to pledge to de-litter the land and improve areas that have perhaps been overlooked.

This year, the campaign has been extended run for almost 5 weeks. Interested groups can sign up from 26th January, and events will run up from 22nd March up to the 23rd April 2019. There is also a day of action planned for the 22nd March 2019.

This year’s campaign will not only see tons of litter being removed from the environment on our doorstep, it also aims to rescue thousands of the plastic bottles and aluminum drinks cans that are simply thrown on the ground but could, very easily, be recycled.

Using the ‘three bags full’ approach, volunteers will be asked to separate the litter they pick into three bags: one for plastic bottles, one for aluminum cans and a third for the rest of the rubbish.

Colchester Borough Council’s Zone teams will then collect these bags to ensure that they are recycled appropriately.

KBT have produced a “how to” guide for those hosting clean-ups, which contains vital health and safety advice, as well as advice about public liability insurance for your clean-up. I have included a copy for you. I have also included a poster for display.

There are lots of reasons why it’s important to get involved.

  • More than 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every day, with litter blighting our streets, parks and beaches and costing us nearly £1 billion a year to clear up.
  • Litter can also harm wildlife. The RSPCA received over 7,000 calls to report incidents of animals injured by litter in 2017 in England and Wales.
  • Litter attracts litter. Research conducted by Keep Britain Tidy in 2012 showed that people are more likely to litter where litter is present. The presence of litter can act as an environmental cue (indicating the cleanliness of the site) and a social cue (implying that it is socially acceptable to litter at an already littered site).

Top 3 litter items reported in 2018: of respondents (%)

  • Soft drink cans, bottles, cartons 77%
  • Alcohol cans, wine bottles, spirit bottles, etc. 61%
  • Fast food litter, e.g. packaging, food, straws 54%

Enhanced wellbeing 

Of those who took part in the Great British Spring Clean 2018 and responded to Keep Britain Tidy’s survey, many report positive mental health benefits;

  • 83% felt more part of their community
  • 88% said they would encourage other people that they knew or met not to drop litter
  • 82% felt more aware of the impact that litter has on the environment 
  • 82% felt they had the knowledge and skills they need to carry on litter-picking in their local area as a result of taking part
  • 92% said they had enjoyed volunteering their time to the Great British Spring Clean

To find out more or to register ‘clean up’ then head to the website;

If you intend to participate can I also ask that you please let your zone wardens know so we can arrange collection of your recycling and litter bags? We can also provide you with bin bags and have a limited number of litter pickers that we can lend out to groups

We really hope everyone will get involved with a flurry of litter picking and other events during this month long campaign - streets and open spaces across the borough can all benefit from litter picks and other clean-up activities. 

With your help areas that are special to you can be better protected, creating a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Colchester that everyone can be proud of. 

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