Sheffield litter pickers call for signatures to force Government to discuss littering in parliament

Litter pickers in Sheffield are calling on people to sign a petition to force the Government to confront the littering problem in the UK in the hope that discussion will ‘shift habits’.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 10:06 am
Updated Sunday, 25th April 2021, 10:06 am

At the time of writing the ‘Fund a national anti-littering campaign’ petition has more than 12,000 signatures, however 100,000 are needed for it to become a compulsory topic for the Government to debate in parliament.

Julie Hincke, who set up the petition, wrote: “I would like to see the Government fund a national anti-littering campaign, to put this issue back into public awareness. The campaign should include advertising on TV, online, in schools, at bus stops and anywhere else that it can be seen.”

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The rubbish clear up at Endcliffe Park on the morning of March 31. Picture: Chris Etchells

The Government has responded to the petition online, listing the campaigns it has run around littering.

However, believing this is not enough, Sheffield’s litter pickers have leant their support to Ms Hincke’s petition and want other people to do so too, in a bid to provoke more reaction from the Government.

Sheffield resident Penny Rea said: “I have been picking up litter for 30 years. I signed this petition some time ago and just read the response . I have never heard of most of the government campaigns so they need to publicise better.

"Sheffield Litter pickers and lots of small groups are doing a valiant job but we need to stop people dropping it and manufacturers from making it. We need a shift in our habits.

“It would be good to get 100,000 signatures for this petition to prompt a discussion in parliament.”

This comes after concern has been raised over the level of littering in Sheffield, including one morning in March when the council and volunteers removed seven tonnes of waste that was left in Endcliffe Park.

This weekend that issue was greatly reduced, after the council placed large bins around the park which park workers said have been used effectively by the people who spent Saturday evening there.

Wayne Howarth, who was clearing the park this morning (April 25) said: “Compared to what it’s been like in past weeks it is much better.”

Concerns have also been raised on Sheffield Litter Pickers’ social media pages about the level of rubbish in the woods around the Northern General Hospital, with calls being made for it to be cleared.

A litter pick was also organised in Lowedges over the Easter weekend.

Responding to the petition online, a Government spokesperson wrote: “Having launched the “Keep It, Bin It” campaign in 2018 with Keep Britain Tidy, Defra continues to support this campaign and raise awareness of the impacts of littering through other means.

"The “Keep it, Bin it” anti-litter campaign encourages people to dispose of their litter responsibly, calling time on rubbish excuses for littering and telling people to keep hold of their rubbish until they find a bin.

"The campaign has been publicised through various media channels, most notably targeted social media advertisements online, as well as digital display sites at travel hubs across England, thanks to advertising space provided by partners.”

You can sign the petition here.