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Clean for The Queen for Her Majesty's 90th birthday
Clean for The Queen is a campaign designed to encourage those of us who live in the UK to clear up Britain in time for The Queen's 90th birthday on 21st April 2016. It will rally an army of volunteers across the country to clean up their local areas and will include a special clean-up weekend on 4th - 6th March.
Adrian Evans, who has been appointed as campaign director, ran The Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in 2012. With the full backing of Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign already has the support of well-known national organisations with a total membership of more than 1.5 million, as well as individual ambassadors.
These include Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The campaign has been backed by the Government and is also supported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Women's Institute and Clean Up Britain.
Now it's up to all of us.
"Her Majesty The Queen is an inspiration to all of us," says environment minister Rory Stewart. "Her 90th birthday is a unique opportunity for people to come together in celebration of Her Majesty's long service and dedication to this country.
"Everyone has a responsibility to keep their community tidy and this campaign provides us with a great chance to protect our wildlife and improve the quality of our streets and public spaces. I hope it will help lead to a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Britain."
How much litter is there?
About 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day. Thirty million tons of rubbish are collected from England's streets each year. That's enough to fill Wembley Stadium four times over.
The Highways Agency clears about 180,000 sacks of litter from motorways and 'A' roads alone. There could be 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean. About 80% of that comes from the land. Plastic takes at least 450 years to break down in seawater.
In 2013/14, local authorities dealt with 852,000 fly-tipping incidents in England and Wales. These cost roughly £45 million to clear up. The RSPCA receives 7,000 calls a year about animals injured by litter.
In 2013, 8.3 billion single-use plastic bags were handed out in the UK. The amount of litter on UK beaches has almost doubled over the past 15 years.
An RSPB study found that 95% of fulmars washed up dead on the North Sea coast had ingested plastic
How long does it take to biodegrade?
- Paper bag up to one month
- Orange peel up to two years
- Banana skin up to two years
- Plastic bag up to 10-20 years
- Cigarette butts up to 12 years
- Plastic bottle up to 450 years
- Glass bottles and chewing gum are not biodegradable
How much is it costing?
- It costs taxpayers almost £1 billion every year to clean up litter from our streets
- The cost of cleaning up chewing gum from a town centre is up to £60,000
- Fly-tipping costs Network Rail more than £2.3 million each year
- Clearing litter costs Dartmoor National Park £20,000 a year
According to a 2014 Keep Britain Tidy report, if we recycled 50% of items littered in England, it would have an economic value of at least £14.8 million. Further, if every adult picked up just one piece of litter and put it in a bin, that would be more than 50 million pieces of rubbish disposed of.
Imagine if everyone picked up at least one piece of litter every day for the next nine months?
Our vision for the Clean for The Queen campaign
Campaign director Adrian Evans, says: "Her Majesty The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday in 2016. To celebrate this event, we want people throughout the UK to join together and present a gift to her, a gift that will benefit us all.
"In the run up to The Queen's birthday on 2016, we aim to inspire a million people to take action and enjoy a few hours together litter-picking to make the places where we live more beautiful. For her, and for us all, we want to attack the blight of litter and reclaim our beautiful countryside, our fabulous cities, our world class parks, our wonderful beaches and waterways.
"We will generate litter blitzes throughout the UK in January, February and March, and the most monumental of all litter clear-ups from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March 2016.
"The first national anti-litter campaign was carried out in 1953, the year of The Queen's coronation, and this was swiftly followed by the establishment of Keep Britain Tidy (and by extension Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful). How appropriate it is then, in the year of The Queen's 90th birthday, that we should all band together to attempt the biggest clean-up in history?
"We hope that these activities will leave a legacy, that they will encourage more people to reduce their litter habit and to help us all to live more sustainably.
"We want both individuals and organisations to go online at and register their interest to take part.
"Join us! Let's Clean for The Queen."
21st January 2016