A new anti-litter campaign reminding residents and visitors to take responsibility for their litter and to have pride in the town’s beaches, parks and open spaces is launching in Southend.
The council is running the ‘your rubbish, your responsibility’ campaign to encourage residents and visitors to use litter bins, and to stop and think about the impact littering has on the environment and local wildlife.
The campaign, supported by the council’s waste and recycling partner, Veolia, also asks people to take their litter home if a bin is full. The messages will be displayed on large boards, bin stickers, social media adverts, banners and posters all across the Borough.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning, said: “Over the years we have seen that globally, litter has become an issue which seems to be getting gradually worse.
“Whilst we have seen an increase in knowledge around the problems of littering through shows such as Blue Planet, there still seem to be some people who choose to ignore the impact.
“Previous campaigns have worked well, and we have seen an improvement in people’s habits whilst out and about, but we know that for some our words fall on deaf ears.
“It is disheartening to see our beaches and parks covered in litter and so many of our hundreds of litter bins also surrounded by it. Please do use a litter bin whenever you can but if you see the bin is full, please do the right thing and take your rubbish home with you.
“Our recycling and waste contractor, Veolia, and parks staff are working around the clock, particularly on hot days where we see a drastic spike in visitor numbers, but it is impossible to keep up at times.
“We know that a campaign alone is not going to solve the problem. However, the more awareness we raise, then the more it will resonate with everyone.
“We will monitor how the campaign goes over the coming weeks and hope to see a reduction in litter in our parks and beaches. So please, throw your rubbish in a litter bin and if its full, take it home, and remember, your rubbish is your responsibility.”
Stuart Atkinson, contract manager for Veolia UK, said: “We are proud to be working alongside Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to keep their seven miles of coastline and busy streets tidy and enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.
“Most people already act responsibly and according to studies, over 80 per cent of beach-goers always bin their rubbish or take it home with them. I hope that by picturing how harmful rubbish can be for the environment, this campaign will help raise awareness among the minority and encourage everybody to take ownership of the waste they produce and bring to the beaches.
“This year, planning ahead of a busy summer, we have worked hard to ensure that litter bins are easily accessible to all, by placing additional cage bins on the beach, increasing the number of staff, and adding 26 large capacity bins on the seafront. Bins are emptied regularly all day long but if a bin is full, please look for another one or take your rubbish home.
“Most importantly, rubbish should never be left next to a litter bin as there is always a risk it will blow away and end up in the water, harming the wildlife, and polluting the environment.”
For more information around recycling, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/recycling