The Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy has spoken out about the negative impact that litterers have on our country after a report found that most litter dropped on our streets come from pedestrians.

Lesley Jones said:

The number of completely litter-free streets are rising in Wales and that’s a testament to the hard work that so many local authorities, organisations and volunteers put in all year round. But we’re not complacent. We know that litter is an issue for many communities and our report highlights the trends that are increasing year-on-year, such as dog fouling and fast food litter.

Her comments come as Keep Wales Tidy release the latest All Wales Report - ‘How Clean Are Our Streets?’- an independent survey, funded by Welsh Government that looks at levels of litter on streets across Wales.

The headlines from the All Wales Report 2015-16 include:

  • The All Wales Cleanliness Indicator (CI) has improved since its baseline figure in 2007-08;
  • Litter dropped by pedestrians is the most common source of litter;
  • Increase in fast food related litter on our streets compared to 2014-15;
  • Highest figure of dog fouling recorded since the 2012-13 All Wales Report.

Carl Sargeant, Minister for Natural Resources said:

Overall, is it clear that progress continues to be made, but to maintain this we must all work together to help educate and engage with those members of the public who need to change their behaviour. Only by instilling a sense of pride and ownership in local areas will we be able to sustain high quality local environments for the benefit of future generations.

Lesley Jones said:

The truth is that irresponsible people drop litter and this has a massive impact on our streets, communities, resources and wider environment. It costs around £70 million every year to clean-up our country and litter strewn areas are bad for our health, levels of crime, our wildlife and our economy. It’s mostly avoidable and that’s what people find so frustrating.

Our work encourages and enables people to get involved and to make the right decisions. We work with so many volunteers, organisations, local authorities and businesses that take responsibility and do the right thing but unfortunately, there are still a small number of people who spoil it for everybody else.

Keep Wales Tidy soon launches the annual Clean Coast Week campaign, encouraging people across Wales to get involved in local action to help clean up the Welsh coastline in time for the summer season.

It’s time that people just stopped littering. We must work together and realise that it’s up to all of us to have pride in our communities to ensure that the places we live, work and use are safe, clean and can be enjoyed by everyone.

The full report ‘How Clean Are Our Streets?’ can be found here