An independent report published by Keep Wales Tidy shows that the levels of litter found on our streets have remained largely unchanged since last year.

The latest All Wales Report - ‘How Clean Are Our Streets?’ provides a ‘snapshot’ of litter and other local environmental quality issues.

This year’s report highlights the presence of recyclable plastics irresponsibly littered on our streets, including drinks bottles which were found on 11.7% of streets surveyed.

Other headline results for 2017-18 include:

  • Litter dropped by pedestrians remains the most common source of litter
  • Smoking-related litter was recorded on 80.3% of streets
  • Dog fouling was recorded on 8.6% of streets - the lowest figure to date
  • Confectionery (54.1%) and fast food litter (18%) are at similar levels to last year

Jemma Bere, Policy and Research Manager for Keep Wales Tidy said:

After seeing promising signs last year, this report shows that levels of litter have plateaued. As a country we shouldn’t settle for this - we all need to recognise the far-reaching impacts of littering and care for our environment together.

Waste and litter issues have been highlighted extensively in the media in recent months, particularly plastics and packaging. These can make their way into our marine environment and cause significant damage to ecosystems as well as impacting negatively on our vulnerable coastal communities.

It has been estimated that around 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources, meaning that the issue is not confined to coastal areas. A large proportion of terrestrial litter makes its way into waterways and rivers, either through direct disposal or litter that gets transported by rain, flash flooding or sewage ways which may eventually end up in the oceans.

Jemma continued:

The sheer scale of the problem may mean that the global challenge of addressing marine litter appears overwhelming, yet there are many ways that everyone can get involved in tackling the issue. From individuals, businesses, schools and governments, we know that small actions can make a big difference. The first step is to ensure we all dispose of our litter responsibly.

‘How Clean Are Our Streets?’, funded by Welsh Government, will be launched at a national forum of local authority stakeholders who will discuss the challenges and solutions to some of the issues highlighted in the report.

Download the full report here

Do you want to help make a difference? There’s still time to take part in this year’s Spring Clean Cymru campaign.

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