From Cornwall Council:
This summer Cornwall is saying a polite but firm ‘no more rubbish excuses’ to the minority of people who litter in our beautiful Duchy and is inviting residents, tourists and visitors alike to help get the message across by going to the litterless website.
Each year, Cornwall Council’s street cleaning contractor works round the clock to keep our roads, town centres and beaches tidy with more than 200 workers covering 40,000 miles annually – almost twice the distance around the world.
And over the last year, Cornwall’s community groups volunteered more than 48,066 hours of their time to picking up after litterbugs, according to data collated by Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition and Clean Cornwall. If those volunteers were paid, at the very least it would cost Cornwall around £376,000-a-year.
During the busy holiday periods when visitors and residents are out and about more enjoying Cornwall’s coastal environment, the Council’s contractor steps up its cleaning and bin emptying in anticipation of a rise in the volume of rubbish, recycling and litter.
Visit Cornwall figures suggest that the Duchy hosts 40 million day trips a year. Twenty-two million of those trips are made by visitors who stay overnight in Cornwall, while 19 million are made by locals and visitors who live in – or close enough to – Cornwall to enjoy a day out here before returning home for the night.
Across the peak season Cornwall sees a 45% rise in the amount of rubbish and litter created during the spring and summer seasons. Litter is a risk to human health, as well as the health of Cornwall’s wildlife and environment. Barbeques left in the sand can cause burns and other injuries, while plastic litter in particular poses a choking threat to birds and sea life.
The Council has teamed up with Visit Cornwall, Clean Cornwall and Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition as part of its #LitterlessCornwall campaign to issue a reminder to residents and visitors alike: no more rubbish excuses – leave only your footprints and take your litter with you if the bins are full.
The campaign asks the majority of people who don’t litter to sign a ‘#LitterlessCornwall’ pledge so that the Council can prove to litterlouts that there really is no excuse for rubbish behaviour.
Cllr Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Litter is a blight on Cornwall but it’s not something the Council can tackle alone and we are grateful to Cornwall’s voluntary groups who do so much. But they shouldn’t have to.
“Responsibility for not dropping litter and making sure it ends up in a bin lies with each of us as individuals. If you can’t find a bin please take your rubbish away with you and dispose of it at home. It’s that simple.
“Our contractor clears litter wherever and whenever it can, but it shouldn’t be dropped in the first place.
“Unfortunately a minority of people still haven’t got the message that littering is unacceptable. “What we say to their carelessness is ‘no more rubbish excuses’.
“This summer make sure your rubbish goes in a bin and leave only your footprints.”