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‘I’ve picked up 1.2m cigarette butts!’: five litter loathers who refuse to let it lie

On every street in Britain, you’re likely to find a piece of litter. It is estimated that 2m pieces of rubbish are dropped in the UK every day, with 48% of people admitting to littering. Rubbish is not just a nuisance to look at, it can also endanger plants and animals, as well as indirectly contribute to the climate crisis. About £1bn is spent by local authorities every year to clean up this mess, and, despite the introduction of charges for single-use plastic bags and fines for littering that range from £150 to £2,500, our habits of throwing waste anywhere but into a bin continue.

Yet, while there are litterers among us, there are also people taking matters into their own hands. Volunteers across the UK are using their free time to fight the rising tide of waste. We spoke to some of these litter battlers on the life-changing effects of creating clean streets and waterways.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 02/10/23]

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