Litter is a very visible problem – it’s easy to see how a playground full of crisp packets, drinks containers and chocolate bar wrappers can give a bad impression of the whole school. By carrying out regular litter surveys and making sure the grounds are rubbish free, both pupils and the local community will quickly notice improvements in the school’s appearance and image. The involvement of the pupils in cleaning up the school environment will also help raise a sense of personal pride and responsibility.

Litter causes significant damage to our wildlife and environment, the effects of which are often long-lasting and extend far beyond where the problem originates. Threats to wildlife from litter include animals becoming trapped, which can lead to starvation, mistaking litter for food, injury and food poisoning. Litter in our streets can eventually make its way into waterways and the marine environment where materials, such as plastic, break down over time but never quite disappear, creating ‘plastic oceans’ which are ingested by fish and other marine life and end up in the food chain. 

To tackle litter at school you must investigate the issue regularly, developing actions and maintaining activities to improve the environment.

The Eco-Schools objectives in this topic area are to:

  • show that litter is an environmental issue, locally and globally
  • encourage schools to put a litter policy into place
  • demonstrate that litter prevention and reduction is an ongoing process that involves all members of the school community
  • regard litter clearing as positive environmental action
  • show pupils that litter prevention improves the environmental quality of the school, the neighbourhood and the planet

Litter Toolkit

Anti Litter Policy