Project launched with Lidl and Chris Packham 23 February 2016

Last week, we announced our latest initiative which will focus on engaging with young people, with the aim to encourage them to reduce litter and waste and help them to get them involved in improving their local parks and green spaces.

The work is being funded thanks to a £500,000 donation from supermarket chain Lidl, which is giving some of the proceeds of the single-use bag charge.

This exciting initiative was launched at a celebration event held at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Nature photographer and TV presenter, Chris Packham, attended the event and unveiled a series of specially commissioned images he took which shows the impact of litter on wildlife and the natural environment.

The evening event kicked off with a few words from Keep Britain Tidy’s CEO Allison Ogden-Newton who talked about the importance of inspiring and engaging young people with issues such as waste and litter and why it is integral to the work the charity does to make a difference now and in the future.

Chris Packham spoke about the impact of litter and how he has seen its affects throughout his career. He went on to say that several years ago a dead Leatherback Turtle was found washed up on a beach and it was decided to carry out a post mortem to see how the creature had died. The Leatherback’s stomach was congealed with plastic bags. Unfortunately, to sea creatures, plastic bags in the sea closely resemble jellyfish; so sadly, this Leatherback had mistaken plastic bags for food.

Chris went onto say that often Leatherback turtles can live more than 100 years old, which means that this creature had been killed by something that might not even have existed when it was born. This really brought it home to us, not only are humans a main reason waste and litter has such a negative impact on our wildlife and environment but we are also the solution. We need to make a difference now, through education using indicatives such as this one.

Chris took ten photographs which are A1 and will be auctioned on the Keep Britain Tidy eBay shop. You can view Chris's photographs here.

Georgina O’Donnell, Head of Communications at Lidl talked about how Lidl has always charged for carrier bags but this is the first time they are re-branding their single-use carrier bags since Lidl entered the UK in 1994. Watch out for their re-branded single-use carrier bags which will include the Keep Britain Tidy logo.

Lidl’s donation will allow Keep Britain Tidy to develop a range of resources to support our national Eco-Schools programme, which guides schools on their sustainable journey. The programme helps to educate students about the environment, highlighting the importance of their involvement to improve parks and green spaces, as well as encouraging them to reduce litter and waste to make a positive difference.

You can see an interview with Keep Britain Tidy’s CEO Allison Ogden-Newton, TV presenter and wildlife photographer Chris Packham and Georgina O’Donnell, Head of Communications at Lidl here.

View the photo gallery from the event launch on our Facebook page.