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New research reveals the power of Blue Planet II

Environment wins as public back litter-picking


More than 70% of people now view tackling litter as more important than they used to and nearly three quarters (75%) feel more appreciative of people who pick up litter according to a new survey carried for Keep Britain Tidy by Ipsos MORI.

The findings will be discussed at today’s Keep Britain Tidy Network Conference, in Manchester, which aims to be the country’s first Tidy City by 2020.

In the survey, commissioned by the charity ahead of this year’s Great British Spring Clean, the country’s biggest-ever mass-action environmental campaign which aims to get half a million people out litter-picking between March 22nd and April 23rd, 42% also said they were more likely to pick up litter now, rather than walk past it.

More than two-thirds (67%) also said they tried to purchase less single-use plastic than they used to, and eight out of ten people said they thought people who litter-pick are vital to protecting the environment.

An analysis of the research shows that among those who had seen or were aware of Blue Planet II, the figures are even higher proving how much of a cultural shift the programme has brought about:

  • 47% of those who watched Blue Planet 2 said they would like to get involved in a litter pick, compared to 17% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • 78% said they tried to purchase less single-use plastics, compared to 37% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • 77% said they are more aware of the things people are doing to help tackle litter, compared to 39% of those who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • Eight out of ten said they view tackling litter as more of a priority than they used to, compared to five out of ten who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • 82% feel more appreciative of people who pick up litter than they used to, compared to 54% of people who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • More than half (53%) said that since the debate over single-use plastics in the UK media, they now pick up litter when previously they might have walked past it, compared to 26% of people who hadn’t seen or heard about it.
  • Almost nine out of ten (87%) agreed and expressed admiration for people who go litter-picking saying they are vital for helping to protect the environment in the UK, compared to 59% of people who hadn’t seen or heard about it.

“These findings are great news for the environment. As the UK’s leading anti-litter charity seeing that nearly 90% of people support our heroic volunteers is everything. We love our work, fighting litter and it’s causes everywhere people live, work and play and to know the public do too is a fantastic boost.

“The level of support for this year’s Great British Spring Clean from both our partners and the public has been astonishing and reflects the findings of this research.

“Together, we can realise our ambition to create a litter-free environment for everyone to enjoy.”

- Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive 


These new figures come after 2018 research by Ipsos MORI also revealed that, when it comes to the environment, 46% of British people put tackling waste at the top of their list of priorities, ahead of global warming (29%) and future energy supplies (29%).

It also showed that, as a nation, we are more concerned about dealing with waste than the rest of the world, as globally only 30% see it as a priority.

“The British are now more worried about packaging than most other countries. Programmes like Blue Planet 2 and the debate in the media about single use plastics seem to have been a catalyst for raising awareness and helping change behaviour on littering.”

- Ben Page, Ipsos MORI Chief Executive and Keep Britain Tidy trustee 


Photo source: BBC - Blue Planet 2

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