Littering from vehicles is a major problem. Our research has shown that 23% of people are likely to litter from their car, and growing concerns from local authorities indicated that the problem was getting worse.
In July 2009 Keep Britain Tidy launched a campaign to tackle the problem and change people’s attitudes and behaviour towards car litter.
We carried out some research before the campaign to help inform what type of message to use. The following headline information was revealed:
The type of person who is most likely to litter out of their vehicle are males aged between 18-34, are quite likely to smoke and have low level of guilt for their behaviour
Cigarettes are most commonly littered items each day with small pieces of paper being the most commonly littered over a six month period
Vehicle litterers are most likely to litter in quiet traffic or if they have a sense of anonymity
Through a four week national advertising campaign (bus shelter sites, billboards, bus backs, on-line advertising and a national radio advert), members of the public were asked to report incidents of littering from vehicles to the Keep Britain Tidy website. The campaign used the slogan together we can stop car litter - report it at www.keepbritaintidy.org. The posters encouraged non litterers to visit the website to join Keep Britain Tidy’s petition and report anyone seen throwing litter out of their vehicles. As a result of a late change of heart by DVLA, it was not possible to write to reported litterers as had been planned
With backing from 96 local authorities across England, we were able to strengthen the message locally through their positioning of poster versions of the advertising and media stories. Keep Britain Tidy also used local authority help to monitor key stretches of road to help measure success, and we also provided them with feedback on reports in their areas.
Report incidents of car littering.
25% reduction in litter in key locations monitored throughout England.
£2.7m of media coverage including items on GMTV and BBC Radio 5 Live
Two thirds of the public supported our campaign for points on the licence and at the end of the campaign.
81% agreed that there should be tougher penalties for car litterers. Particularly strong support of the campaign from young adults especially in the 16-34 year old bracket.
Over 8,000 reports made to the car litter website
From the reports logged on the car litter website, Ford drivers (1262) in the South (1289) are more likely to litter out of their vehicles
Cigarettes (1580) are most likely to be littered, closely followed by fast food and then confectionary.
Monitoring of litter on roadsides was carried out by 13 of the 55 local authorities again in February 2010 to measure the impact of the campaign six months on. Litter on the roadsides monitored showed a 38% increase following the campaign, indicating that sustained litter messaging is required to sustain a change in behaviour. However, the sites measured six months on were 11% cleaner than before the campaign began.