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Help clean up the countryside with CPRE’s Green Clean

29 August 2019

Help clean up the countryside with CPRE’s Green Clean

The countryside charity is urging everyone to get involved with its nationwide Green Clean litter picks

This September, CPRE is mobilising almost 20 local CPRE groups, in partnership with other local community groups and passionate volunteers, to clean up local green spaces and countryside as part of its nationwide Green Clean [1]. Evidence from the Green Clean will be used to highlight the urgent need for a deposit return system that includes drinks cans, plastic and glass bottles, cartons and pouches of all sizes.

Running for one month, and with events taking place from Somerset to Northumberland [2], the countryside charity wants as many people as possible to get involved in their local Green Clean events and help improve their local environment.

Last year, litter pickers collected hundreds of bags of litter and over 11,000 drinks bottles and cans, of all shapes, sizes and materials [3]. This not only helped to transform local green spaces across the country, but also demonstrated that drinks containers of all kinds are left polluting the natural world supporting the need for an ‘all-in’ deposit return system.

This evidence, which was submitted during the government’s consultation, contributed to making the case to former Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, who recently gave his backing to an ‘all-in’ system, stating that, ‘an “all-in” model will give consumers the greatest possible incentive to recycle’.

With a new Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, now in post, CPRE will use this year’s Green Clean to demonstrate that the problem still persists, and urge the new Secretary of State to pick up where her predecessor left off, introducing the best possible scheme as swiftly as possible.

Once introduced, a deposit return system will boost recycling rates for drinks cans, bottles, cartons and pouches to more than 90%, virtually eliminating litter of this kind in our countryside where it can cause harm to our environment [4].

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, Campaign Lead at CPRE, said:

‘Litter left in our countryside, streets, parks and rivers isn’t just an eyesore, it can be extremely harmful to wildlife and nature, and cost tax-payers millions of pounds in clean-up costs every year. Through the collective effort of local people, this year’s Green Clean will transform local green spaces back to a beautiful litter-free state.

‘Last year we collected a staggering number of harmful drinks cans, bottles, cartons and pouches, demonstrating how vital it is that every single type of drinks container is included England’s deposit return system. That small financial incentive will stop them from being littered, making such a huge difference to our environment and wildlife.’

To find out where your nearest Green Clean event is taking place, to sign up and for more information go to


Notes to Editor:

1. Full details on CPRE’s Green Clean is available on the sign up page:

2. Green Clean litter-picks will be taking place in the following counties and regions:
1 September: Newbiggin, Northumberland
1 September: Madeley Court, Shropshire
7 September: Blandford, Dorset
8 September: Graveney, Kent
8 September: Battersea Park, London
9 September: Brigg, Northern Lincolnshire
10 September: Sherbourne, Dorset
12 September: Park House, Manchester
14 September: Wareham, Dorset
14 September: Houghton Regis Chalk Pit, Bedfordshire
15 September: Cannock Chase, Marquis Drive Visitor Centre, Staffordshire
15 September: Haselbury Plucknett, near Crewkerne, Somerset
15 September: Wimbourne, Dorset
20 September: Wells, Somerset
21 September: Wells, Somerset
21 September: Frome, Somerset
21 September: Wroot, North Lincolnshire
21 September: Haxey/Westwoodside, North Lincolnshire
22 September: Wells, Somerset
22 September: Wroot, North Lincolnshire
22 September: Bow Back Rivers, London
22 September: Throckley, Northumberland
27 September: Swanage, Dorset
28 September: Bridgwater, Somerset
28 September: Beaminster, Dorset
28 September: Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire
28 September: Rea Valley, Shropshire

3. Green Clean 2018: the results

4. Deposit return – the past becomes the future
For countries, such as Norway and Germany, that already have a system in place, littered bottles and cans are a rare sight, as the deposit system means that they have a monetary value. Many other countries and provinces around the world have also found a deposit return system to be the best way to capture drinks containers, and you may recall a similar initiative for glass bottles in England some years back. Thanks to the monetary incentive, such schemes wield an unrivalled return rate of between 70-98.5%, with an associated reduction in other container litter of up to 80%.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Emma Bridgewater, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.

Please call our Press Officer, Phil Richards, on 020 7981 2819 for further information

© Campaign to Protect Rural England, 5-11 Lavington Street, London, SE1 0NZ | Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Email: |

Registered charity number: 1089685, registered company number: 4302973