Keep It, Bin It: the national anti-littering campaign aiming to make dropping litter culturally unacceptable No More Rubbish Excuses!
Millions of pieces of litter are dropped every day in England. Anyone working in the environment sector will know that littering is not only unsightly, but has a devastating impact on our native wildlife. Worryingly, 1 in 5 people admit to dropping litter1. A study last year showed 1 in 4 people ‘carefully litter’, which involves leaving drinks cans and coffee cups on window ledges or placing rubbish next to full bins2. That’s why tackling litter is a government priority, as set out in the Litter Strategy for England 2017 and the landmark 25 Year Environment Plan.
The national ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign, run by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with support from environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, brings together a coalition of partners to encourage people to responsibly dispose of their litter. The campaign is supported by some of the biggest names in retail, travel and entertainment.
The Litter Strategy outlined the need to engage with young people outside the school environment, as evidence shows that this age group is more likely to find littering acceptable in certain situations. As a result the campaign is targeted towards 16-24 year olds, with a clear call to action: if there’s not a bin, keep your rubbish and bin it when there is one.
The campaign features poignant images of animals eating and getting tangled in litter, contrasted against typical excuses people give for dropping litter. With the RSPCA responding to 1,500 calls about litter-related incidents affecting animals every year - the emotive
imagery highlights the impact that littering has on our environment and native wildlife.
Working together to tackle litter
In its first year, the ‘Keep It, Bin It’ campaign has been raising the profile of the litter problem by reaching millions of people both online and out of home. Everyone from film buffs to festival goers have had opportunity to see the campaign – thanks largely in part to
partnerships with some of the country’s biggest businesses.
The campaign film was shown in Cineworld cinemas during the spring and early summer thanks to our partnership with PepsiCo UK. With support from Mars Wrigley Confectionery, the ‘Keep it, Bin it’ message is reaching young audiences through the ‘Bin it!’ roadshow, a fun and interactive presentation being performed in schools up and down the country.
In an effort to tackle litter on roadsides and the railways, the campaign’s impactful imagery has been on display in travel hubs across the country, thanks to campaign partners Network Rail, Extra MSA, Roadchef and Moto.
The campaign also teamed up with Leeds Festival to engage 75,000 festival attendees with the ‘Keep It, Bin It’ message. The campaign commissioned environmental street artist ATM to create a mural over the course of the festival weekend. A huge hit with the young people in attendance, one festival goer said: “The artwork is beautiful – it shows how all the plastic and the rubbish can go straight to the environment and the animals themselves.”
Liv Cooke, the world champion freestyle footballer called on her followers to find creative ways to bin their litter as part of her #backofthebinchallenge. The challenge has had over half a million views on Tik Tok, a social media platform particularly popular with teenagers. Continuing the football theme, campaign partner McDonald’s joined forces with JOE Media to create ‘Rubbish Commentary’, which uses humour to tackle a serious subject.
Together these activities are raising awareness of the threat that littering poses to our natural wildlife, whilst encouraging young people to examine their behaviour and improve it. At almost a year old, it’s been great to see so many people getting behind the campaign. There’s plenty more planned – so watch this space!
Supporting the Campaign
We are keen to hear from commercial and charitable organisations that are interested in supporting the ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign. Simply email our partnerships team at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to the campaign webpage to express an interest. You can follow the campaign by searching #KeepItBinIt
2 Keep Britain Tidy (2018) https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/news/one-four-admit-carefully-littering