Over the month of June, 120 litter heroes took part in a month-long litter picking challenge in their local areas of Dorset. Signed up to the challenge were a real mix of participants, from families with young children, to young adults and older residents of Dorset.
For the duration of June, the participating litter heroes took part in a challenge of their choosing. Alongside the choice of creating their own challenge, three challenges were suggested by Litter Free Dorset. Over two thirds of participants took part in a 10 times challenge, where they litter picked their local area 10 times over the course of June. Other participants opted for the 10 minutes daily challenge. Whilst some litter heroes signed up and completed a staggering 10-hour challenge, where they litter picked for 10 hours over the course of one day. In total our volunteers collected approximately 1 ton of litter – the equivalent weigh of a baby humpback whale!
By taking part, individuals reduced the impact of plastic pollution and littered waste in our local environment. Results showed the most common form of litter was confectionary and food packets. Other plastic items such as disposable PPE, plastic drinks bottles and wet wipes were also very abundant.
Preventing Plastic Pollution researcher, Amanda Arnold said: “We are really grateful to the volunteers for taking part in the LFD challenge. It was really inspiring to see the stories and pictures posted online and its remarkable how much litter was collected. The completed litter survey forms will enable the PPP project to get a grasp on where, how much and what types of litter are accumulating in Dorset’s river catchments. This data makes a big difference as it will help us develop a tool to predict litter hotspots.”
Sophie Colley, Litter Free Dorset coordinator, told KeeP 106: “A big thank you to all 120 litter legends who took part in the June Litter Free Dorset challenge. We hope you all enjoyed your adventure and we have loved seeing your progress pictures on the challenge Facebook Page. We hope you are inspired to continue your litter picking efforts post challenge.”
As part of the challenge, participants were able to also fundraise money for Litter Free Dorset. Litter Free Dorset is a community campaign to reduce litter across the county hosted by Dorset Council. If you would like to fundraise or donate funds to help us achieve our goals to reduce the social, economic, and environmental impacts of litter please click here to be taken to our fundraising page.
Missed out on the #LFDChallenge? Don’t worry, we hope to be able to run another challenge next year! In the meantime, check out our local litter picking groups page on the Litter Free Dorset website to find a litter picking group near you that you can get involved with!
The Litter Free Dorset Challenge initiative was a collaboration between Litter Free Dorset and the Preventing Plastic Pollution project, supported by Queen Mary University of London and co-financed by the Interreg France (Channel) England programme. A big thank you to all the incredible litter heroes that took part in the month’s challenge.