Litter adds up

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It’s been one month since our Community Clean Up at Donkey
Field
for the Great British Spring Clean, and in that time Jon has been incredibly busy recording the
staggering 509 items of recycling found on the day. In two hours, our volunteers 68 glass bottles, 223 plastic bottles, and 218 cans. With a 10p deposit on each item of recycling, that would be £50.00, or £25.00 an hour.

There were a few surprises for us this time around. First, a full quarter of the items (26%) were unknown brands: labels easily fall off or wear off bottles and it’s not possible to pin down what type of beverage they were. Of the brands Jon could identify, it was an even split on the ACE: 23% alcohol, 23% carbonated beverages, and 23% on the energy drinks. The remainder was composed of sports drinks (9%), fruit and water each had 7%, and milk and other bits took the final 8%.

In each of these categories, these were the top three littered brands:

Alcohol:

  • Carlsberg (all varieties): 19 items
  • Stella Artois (all varieties): 14 items
  • Foster’s (all varieties): 12 items

Carbonated Beverages:

  • Coca-Cola (all varieties): 57 items
  • Pepsi (all varieties, including one dated June 1990): 18 items
  • Dr. Pepper: 12 items

Energy Drinks:

  • Red Bull (all varieties): 31 items
  • Monster
    (all varieties): 25 items

  • Rockstar (all varieties): 24 items

Sports Drinks:

  • Lucozade (all varieties): 42 items
  • Powerade
    (all varieties): 2 items
  • Gatorade
    (all varieties): 1 item

Fruit Drinks:

  • Rio Tropical Juice: 8 items
  • Oasis: 5 items
  • Remaining products in ones and twos

Bottled Water:

  • Volvic (Touch of Fruit): 7 items
  • Remaining products in ones and twos

Milk:

  • Generic milk bottle: 4 items
  • Yazoo Milk Drink: 3 items
  • Remaining products in ones and twos

Jon also counted up the recycling found during Good Energy’s
lunch hour
clean up of Monkton Park: 12 glass bottles, 23 plastic
bottles, and 28 cans. These figures have been added
to the tally in the sidebar of the website, and all of these numbers underscore a serious point. Companies know who their target audience is: why
not craft
anti-litter interventions that are designed to reach them? If a business can convince a person to pick up and buy a product, surely they can
also help
change the attitude surrounding how it is disposed of?

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