Get Streets Ahead to Stop Litter

by Sarah Dobson Marine Sustainability community Waste Litter

Recent research by the city council has revealed that 8 out of 10 residents are fed up with the amount of litter in Brighton & Hove: 97% said litter is ugly to look at, and 93% think litter ruins communities and neighbourhoods.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s anti-littering public campaign #StreetsAhead was introduced in 2017 to encourage the responsible disposal of litter, create streets to be proud of, and prevent city litter from being washed into the sea.

The #StreetsAhead campaign is funded by the fines paid by those who litter. Enforcement of penalties is proving popular amongst concerned residents, with 88% of the people surveyed saying there should be stricter fines for those who litter.

Litter travels – from our hand, to the ground, to the storm drain and then out to sea! Litter is having a negative impact on our local marine environment, and the following figures highlight the extent of the problem:

  • 35 tonnes of rubbish are cleared from Brighton & Hove’s beaches in the summer every week (an equivalent weight to 16 bottlenose dolphins)!
  • 35% of fish caught off our local coast have plastic in their gut
  • 80% of ocean plastic comes from the land i.e. from us

The #StreetsAhead campaign hopes to capture the public’s imagination and change behaviour through interactive and playful approaches. These include silent disco beach cleans, ‘multiple-choice’ bins (such as choosing between ‘Tea’ and ‘Coffee’ to put a cigarette butt in), as well as humorouslitter lifeguard stunts involving the rescuing of litter from the sea.

An essential part of the campaign is community engagement. #StreetsAhead partnered with local group Pier2Pier Beach Clean during the campaign launch in 2017. Since then silent disco beach cleans have taken place involving more than 250 people who have cleared over 600kg of litter from the city’s beach! Earlier this year, Pier2Pier were shortlisted for a ‘Litter Hero’ award at the Keep Britain Tidy Awards 2018.

The city council supports resident groups, schools and local businesses with their beach cleans and litter picking events in the city, providing litter pickers, bags and gloves. Local groups are also invited to put forward their own ideas, for events and creative litter projects to help raise awareness of the problem.

It’s also extremely important for us to engage with local businesses and have their support for the campaign. #StreetsAhead has worked with many businesses in the city including Brighton Pier, Komedia, Toni and Guy, Mangetout, Cloud 9, Befries, Neal’s Yard Remedies and many more. Colourful posters were placed on shop fronts, showing their support for the campaign and calling the public to act on littering.

Support #StreetsAhead! Help us spread the word! #StreetsAhead is calling on Brighton’s residents, businesses and visitors to help stop the flow of litter onto the beach and into the sea.

Here’s what You can do:

  • Use the bin, not the pebbles, not the gutter, not the pavement
  • If you see some litter and you’re near a bin – you could pick it up
  • If a bin is full, find another or take your litter home
  • Get active on social media with #StreetsAhead – see our sample tweets and posts below to get you started
  • Make the most of the campaign’s informative design material, including gifs, social media cards, and an infographic
  • Send this litter information around to rally colleagues, or a themed newsletter to your networks
  • Join the next litter picks!, starting with those running over the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ weekend:

Superhero Silent Disco Beach Clean - Saturday 3rd March 2018
Silent Disco Park Clean - Sunday 4th March 2018

Lastly, do get in touch with the campaign team if you wish to request our support.

Vicky Karidopoulou
Project Development Officer, CityClean – Brighton & Hove City Council

Sample tweets and posts:

Sample tweets for Twitter

  • 35% of fish in the sea have plastic in their gut. For Fish's Sake: don't drop litter! Brighton & Hove #StreetsAhead
  • Oh my Cod! 80% of plastic in the sea comes from land. Bin your litter #StreetsAhead
  • Littering is a load of rubbish; don't feed the fish your litter. Bin it! Brighton & Hove #StreetsAhead
  • Do you like to bin beside the seaside? Clean up Brighton & Hove, bin it when you find litter!#StreetsAhead
  • There's something fishy happening in Brighton & Hove. Have you seen any of our #StreetsAhead beach interventions?

Sample posts for Facebook

  • Something fishy is happening in our waters. 35% of fish caught off the British coast have plastic in their gut, and 80% of plastic in the sea comes from land. For Fish’s Sake Brighton & Hove, don’t drop litter! Find out more here: #StreetsAhead @RecyclingRefuse
  • Do you like to bin beside the seaside? 4 tonnes of #litter is cleared from Brighton & Hove beaches daily in the summer, that’s equal to 16 bottlenose dolphins. For Fish's Sake: don't drop litter. Find out more here: #StreetsAhead @RecyclingRefuse
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