UK Government

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs: Strictly embargoed until 00:01 Thursday 11 February 2010 - Britain is getting tidier new research shows

Press Release   •   Feb 11, 2010 10:51 GMT

New figures from Keep Britain Tidy show some improvement in the amount of litter found in Britain’s streets, parks and public spaces but there is still more work to do.

The Local Environmental Quality Survey England (LEQSE), funded by Defra, showed that in the last year the number of sites where non-alcoholic drinks cans and bottles were found was down from 57% of areas surveyed to 51%, with small decreases in the number of sites with cigarette ends, fast food litter, broken glass and discarded food.

However, there was a slight increase in the number of sites where dog mess was found - up to 8% from 6% last year – and increases in the amount of graffiti and plastic bags.

Keep Britain Tidy carries out the survey to assess the cleanliness of our streets, parks and other areas. 12,000 sites were surveyed in 54 local council areas to show the prevalence of different forms of litter in our open spaces. The information is used by local authorities to see how they are performing against the national average and to get an overall picture of how clean or dirty the country is.

Environment Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I am grateful to Keep Britain Tidy for their efforts in gathering this information on the cleanliness of our open spaces.

“It really does matter to all of us that our streets and places where we live and work are getting a little cleaner – but there is much more to do. It only takes a little effort to put our litter in the bin, but it makes a huge difference to our own wellbeing and to the environment.”

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive said:

“The report shows us that councils are working hard to keep our local areas clean and we urge them to continue their good work.

"There is still work to be done to rid our communities from litter, graffiti and grime.  It is up to each of us to take personal responsibility for our actions, to support councils' efforts to manage our streets and to make a lasting change to our local environments."

To view the graphs and tables associated with this release, please follow the link below:

For further information, please contact the Keep Britain Tidy press office:

Jill Partington           01942 612 679

Fiona Ashurst           01942 612 688

Keep Britain Tidy Mobile: 07768 880016

Notes to editors

·         This 8th annual LEQSE report was funded by a grant from Defra to Keep Britain Tidy.

  • The full report will be available at from 11th February.
  • The report’s findings cover the period of the financial year 2008/09

·         A summary of the report is attached.

·         Jim Fitzpatrick will be launching the report, and celebrating the success of the Eco Schools initiative at an event at Kew Gardens, London from 11am to 1pm on Thursday 11 February 2010.

  • The Eco-Schools programme was founded in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) a non-governmental and non-profit organisation aiming to promote sustainable development through environmental education.
  • England has the most Eco-Schools in the world.  Over 13,000 schools are involved with the programme.


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