Spring cleaning Britain

Last year has been a rare opportunity to really slow down and appreciate our local areas. It’s been an eye opener, not only has it given us time to admire their loveliness; but with this we’ve also noticed that there’s a lot more litter… it’s not a great look and not on brand for Britain.

Not that this is anything new, nor is it a problem unique to Britain. But, since the 60s, rubbish has changed; it’ll now comfortably outlast any of us by roughly ten times, thankfully there’s a groundswell of action. There’s an army of volunteers putting on their battle dress of hi-viz vests, safety gloves and semi-automatic litter-picking tools. Throughout the country they’re forming groups with a common goal to clean the countless tonnes of rubbish blighting our landscapes. And at KiS, we’re playing our part too – supporting a team of volunteers in our local area, picking at least weekly and providing the group with their own visual identity.

It’s easy to see the way things are and assume it’s too big a problem to tackle by any one of us, but Britain has a relatively long tradition of taking care of our public spaces. The ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ movement originally started in 1954 and was driven by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Across the decades the organisation has evolved, had several name changes and enlisted the support of The Wombles, Bee Gees, Frank Bruno and Roland Rat.

Today, Keep Britain Tidy is an independent charity with three goals – to eliminate litter, end waste and improve places. This means more than just picking up litter. It means creating clean beaches, parks and streets. It means creating sustainable practices and eliminating unnecessary waste.

Luckily they aren’t alone, there’s a growing global appetite for restoring local areas. Whether it’s ‘DeTrashed’ on Reddit or the residents of Mumbai cleaning up Aksa and Versova Beach. It’s comforting to think how everyone helping is helping individually, simply concerned for their own local area, but that together they are impacting the entire planet. It’s time to get this green and pleasant land back on brand.

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