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Litter Innovation Fund

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The overall aim of the Litter Innovation Fund is to find new ways of reducing and preventing litter/littering through new methods and interventions that have not been not tried and tested before​.

Further information

The Litter Innovation Fund is jointly funded by the Department for Environment & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG). On behalf of the funders, WRAP is administering the fund. WRAP is a not for profit organisation and registered charity whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with government, business and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.

In April 2019, Leicester City Council submitted a full application to the fund having been successful in an expression of interest in October 2018. In July 2019, we were informed that we had been successful in our full submission. 

Project details

To date we have worked with students in 6 schools (4 primary/infants and 2 secondary schools) using a professional film maker (Large Scale Film) to create six different short sharp hard-hitting 30 second video clips which can be used on social media and on digital displays across the city to raise awareness. We have identified three themes:

  • ‘No litter down the drain’ - raising awareness that street litter ends up in our water courses and ultimately the ocean
  • Flytipping!’ - raising awareness of fly tipping (while promoting the free bulk collections)
  • Damaged caused by litter to animals – including suffocation and cuts/bleeding

These videos have been created in English and where text has been used, subtitled into the top ten widely spoken languages in Leicester (figures from our translation service) these are Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Somali, Arabic, Farsi, Polish, Slovak and Chinese. We will also have a seventh set of videos stating, 'please don't litter' and ‘love where you live’ by students in as many home languages as possible (in Leicester we have over 70 languages).

This project was approved and praised by WRAP because: this is innovative as we are linking school groups to the community through developing high-quality digital media raising awareness in home languages. This will be a cross organisation project between the education and environment team, city wardens, communication and media teams and local councillors.

We have focus on creating multiple videos subtitled in several home languages based on evidence of where littering and fly tipping is highest in the city. The two areas identities were Narborough Road (including the schools King Richard III, Castle Mead Academy and Shaftesbury Juniors) and Belgrave (including the schools Catherine Junior School, Rushey Mead Primary and Rushey Mead Academy).

FAQs

How did you come up with the concept?

After talking to various children through work with Eco-Schools in the city, it was noted that children are generally aware of the issues related to litter and it is not them fly-tipping or putting cigarette ends down drains and therefore adults needed to be the primary audience for this campaign.

We wanted the clips to highlight the issue of littering in a visually jarring way. By having the children, and in some cases animals, acting in an uncharacteristic way we hope it generates the thought that the behaviour is absurd and unnecessary.  

How did you always ensure children’s safety?

The children were always supervised by the film director, production assistant and a member of staff. When not involved in filming, they wore high-visibility jackets. Areas were checked before hand for any hazards and the children instructed not to touch items, especially sharps, and to alert an adult if they saw anything.

Were any children harmed in the making of these films?

No. Student safety was always paramount. Every activity we undertook was risk assessed and supervised by teaching staff. The children really enjoyed making the films and starring as ‘professional actors’.

How were filming locations selected?

Locations close to each school were selected. In the case of King Richard III Infants and Castle Mead these were areas already know for illegal waste dumping and were highlighted by the schools.

How were the schools and children selected?

Two areas of the city were identified have a significant litter problem by the City Wardens. These areas are Belgrave and Narborough Road. Schools in these areas were identified and contacted. Children were selected by the school staff.


Illegal waste disposal aka Fly-tipping

Last year over 1 million incidents of fly tipping were reported in England alone. That’s almost two a minute!!

Fly tipping is ugly and dangerous. Illegal waste can contain toxic materials like asbestos, effecting our health and the environment. Gases from broken fridges and freezers directly contribute to climate change. 

If you commit this crime you can be fined up to £50,000 and even be imprisoned.

#ifonly there was another way. Contact your local authority to find out how you can dispose of your waste responsibly.

 

King Richard III Infant School- Fly-tipping

What happened to the furniture and electrical items?

The chair was borrowed and returned. The electrical items were already broken and were taken to a recycling centre in the city.

What happened to the rubbish used? 

The black bin bag was filled with cleaned, recyclable material. This was used for most films and then returned to the recycling afterwards.

How heavy was the furniture?

Not heavy at all. The actor was informed how to lift it correctly before lifting and he seemed very happy to do so. 

Did the children drive the car? 

No. The car was always parked without the keys in the ignition. The children were not in the area whenever the car needed to be moved.

 

Castle Mead Academy - Fly-tipping 

What happened to the furniture?

The furniture was donated and then taken to a recycling centre in the city.

What happened to the rubbish used?

The black bin bag was filled with cleaned, recyclable material. This was used for most films and then returned to the recycling system afterwards.

How heavy was the furniture?

Not heavy at all. The actors were informed how to lift it correctly before lifting and great care was taken when throwing the furniture.


Marine Pollution

The biggest source of pollution in the ocean is directly from land based sources. The storm drains in our streets are not treated and flow directly into rivers and into the sea. Plastic is the most common element that is found in the ocean. It is harmful for the environment as it does not get break down easily and is often considered as food by marine animals.

Only rain down the drain! Dispose of your waste responsibly.

Rushey Mead Academy - Marine Pollution

What are they pouring done the drain?

The liquid is just water with food colouring added. The colour was enhanced in post-production to make it a brighter shade of yellow.

How heavy was the container?

Not heavy at all, the maximum amount of liquid inside was 4 litres. The actors were informed how to lift it correctly before lifting.

What was poured into the river?

This was a mixture of water and a powered green dye. The Flood Risk Team at the city council carry out this testing to check for the outflows of drains and culverts. The Flood Risk Team were there on the day to supervise. The colour was slightly altered in post-production from a lurid green to a yellow to match up with the liquid poured in by students.

Why aren’t they wearing gloves?

Glad you spotted that. Honestly, it was an oversight to the aesthetic of the film, but the liquid is in non-hazardous and so posed no threat.

 

Catherine Junior School - Marine Pollution

Did you really put litter down the drain?

We specifically chose a drain that could be lifted so that we could catch the litter in a bag. We ended up taking away more litter than we put down the drain as there was already a lot in there!

Did the children drive the car?

No. The car was always parked without the keys in the ignition.

Why aren’t they wearing seatbelts?

The car was stationary and switched off and parked so there was no need for a seat belt.

What else do people put down drains?

The biggest issue is cigarette ends that are now classed as single use plastics. On our litter surveys cigarette ends are by far the most commonly littered thing, however we agreed that children should not be seen imitating smoking.

What happened to the litter?

The sweet and crisp packets were added to our offices recycling scheme.


Endangering Animals

Every year the RSPCA receives 5000 calls about litter related injuries. That’s 14 a day! Animals mistake our litter for food and shelter which endangers their health and their lives. Litter can cause:

·         Entanglement
·         Choking
·         Serious cuts
·         Matted fur and feathers 

Unlike domestic pets, most wild animals are not found so they can die sad and alone. Animals have no way of knowing how harmful litter can be to them, but we do.

Bin your litter and save wildlife too!

Rushey Mead Primary School - Endangering Animals

What are the children drinking?

The glass bottle has orange squash in. The tins cans were empty.

How close were the children to the broken glass?

The children were always kept within a safe distance of the glass. The filming angle such it looks like the glass is close by but, it was at least 1.5 metres away. The glass that the student treads on is computer generated.

How was the glass broken?

When the actor threw the bottle, it was caught by the production assistant. The glass was then broken in controlled conditions. The children were kept several metres away whilst the director set up the shot. The assistant dropped the bottle. Both were wearing safety goggles and sensible footwear.

What happened to the broken glass afterwards?

The glass was carefully swept up by the production team and disposed of safely.

Where the children checked for allergies before using face paint?

Yes. A skin test was carried out 48 hours before filming. No students reported any irritation.

 

Shaftesbury Junior School - Endangering Animals

What are the children drinking and eating? 

The plastic bottle has water in and they are eating some crisps.

What happened to the rubbish used?

The black bin bags were filled with cleaned, recyclable material. This was used for most films and then returned to the recycling after. Some belonged to the school and was incorporated into their waste management system.

Were any children harmed in the making of these films?

No. Student safety was always paramount. Every activity we undertook was risk assessed and supervised by teaching staff.

Where the children checked for allergies before using face paint?

Yes. A skin test was carried out 48 hours before filming. No students reported any irritation.

 

Please don't drop litter / Love Where you Live

 

 

Attachments

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