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Litter is any waste in the wrong place. Individuals create litter through thoughtless or anti-social behaviour. Only individuals can therefore prevent it.

Many people think that litter and packaging are synonymous but statistically packaging is only a very small component of England’s litter at 1.3% . However by its nature packaging catches the eye and is remembered. It is, therefore, an important issue for INCPEN and its members.

INCPEN works closely with Keep Britain Tidy and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, supporting their efforts to influence behaviour to reduce littering as a whole, not just the littering of packaging. INCPEN also encourages its members to carry the ‘Tidyman’ logo on the packaging for goods that are likely to be consumed outdoors, such as drinks, sandwiches, crisps, cigarettes. Some companies have ‘personalised’ the Tidyman logo to attract more attention to the anti-littering message.

  • Littering needs to be addressed. The only way to do so is a holistic programme of education, cleaning and law enforcement of all litter. There is no point addressing just some items because there is a huge amount of evidence that even one piece of litter begins to make an area look dirty and uncared for which encourages more irresponsible behaviour and more litter (the Broken Window syndrome).
  • All sectors in society need to take action:
    • citizens take responsibility for disposing of waste responsibly
    • municipalities clear up littered items
    • trade and industry (packaging supply chain manufacturers and retailers, banks, newspaper and magazine publishers, leaflet providers, chewing gum manufacturers, cigarette companies, building sites, fishing fleets, shipping etc.) keep their own locations free of litter and encourage their customers to be responsible
  • INCPEN has been active on behalf of its retailer and manufacturer members in a number of areas including commissioning regular research to better understand what is littered, to assess the costs of clearing it up, encouraging adaptation of the Tidyman logo and general education.

    UK Litter Composition 2008
    Item count %
    Chewing gum 175,808 78.5%
    Cigarette ends 44,040 19.7%
    Packaging 2,852 1.3%
    -of which are drinks containers and tops 877 0.4%
    - of which are carrier bags 78 0.03%
    Other 1,215 0.5%
    TOTAL 223,915 100%

    Source: ENCAMS Litter Composition Survey of England Aug-Oct 2008

  • INCPEN has commissioned Keep Britain Tidy to do a new count. Field work is scheduled for December 2013 – March 2014.



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