Litter plea follows rubbish test by film crew in Brighton street

Posted On 10 Jan 2018 at 3:16 am

An experiment filmed in Brighton found that more than a thousand people walked past an empty plastic bottle left in the street even though there was a rubbish bin near by.

Just five people picked up the bottle and put it in the bin during the hour-long test, filmed in New Road for Brighton and Hove City Council.

After viewing the result, the council said: “City residents and tourists are being asked to make a new year resolution to help keep our streets clean by putting litter in a bin.

Council repairs

“A new, short video, made by the city council, asks ‘would you pick up a bottle left on the street’, and then shows how in just one hour 1,296 people walked past an empty plastic water bottle beside a bin in New Road without discarding it.

“However, five litter-conscious citizens, young and old, did their good deed by stopping to lift the bottle and drop it in the wastebasket – and each received a goodie bag for helping to keep the streets clean.”

Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “This little video shows many people’s feelings towards litter.

“A lot of us pass by litter on our streets without thinking about it or have a ‘not my problem’ or ‘nothing to do with me’ attitude.

“However, I’d like to congratulate the five who spent the time ensuring the bottle was disposed of properly.

“Our aim is to make everyone more aware of litter and how easy it is to help keep our streets clean and the city tidy.”

The council said: “The film is part of phase 2 of the council’s #StreetsAhead campaign which aims to raise awareness about litter and how we can all work together to keep our beaches and streets clean.

“Phase 1 launched last August and focused on removing litter from the seafront, including silent disco beach cleans to prevent waste being washed into the sea and endangering marine life.

“Phase 2 takes the campaign from the beach to the city’s streets including North Street, New Road, Queen’s Road, some of the North Laine and a part of Western Road.

“The campaign is funded by fixed penalty notice fines that have been handed to people caught dropping litter, including cigarette ends, on our streets.

“Fixed penalty notices have proved popular with residents after a recent council survey showed 88 per cent of those surveyed believe there should be stricter fines for litterbugs.”

  1. sian Reply

    I for one do not like touching items with doubtful provenance – why would I want to touch a discarded item in the street? This is a rubbish experiment if you will pardon the pun.I hate litter, have contempt verging on major grrrrrs for those who litter, but passing the responsibility onto others who do not know what they are touching is ridiculous.

    • Eva Reply

      Totally agree!

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      By that illogic, you would not touch a door handles, accept change when paying for something; and so on.

  2. Jay Reply

    Public toilets must be a nightmare for Sian & Eva

  3. Poncey do-gooder Reply

    I agree with Chris Hawtree. I’ll always pick up a bottle or crisp packet if it’s in my path. The looks you feel sometimes is that ppl are surprised you bothered. Maybe I don’t look like a hippie. I think it’s generally regarded as a poncey do-gooder thing to do. I was in 7Dials one time and there was a car parked in space outside Dial-A-Pizza. There’s a bin exactly next to the drivers door. The passenger opens up the door, & out fall an assortment of crisps/yogurt/cans. Door shuts again. Just like that. So shocked anyone could think that’s fine. Driver was just as bemused by my outrage. I’ve been w/ 2 friends who thrown litter on floor and they’ve been equally confused by my “wtf?!”

  4. Justin Yates Reply

    I detest litter and hate how bad it is on B&H streets. The council should sort their mess out first. More frequent pickup of bins (private and public) would stop a lot of litter being there in the first place. Not to mention the stupidly small recycling boxes they provide which dont close properly allowing foxes and gulls to get in and distribute the contents all over the road. Trying to get the public to do their job for them seems a bit rich!

  5. David Cowen Reply

    I love it when I hear comments alluding to doing the council’s job.get real, if we all picked something up it shames those that discard it.litter is a national disgrace and it falls to all of us to do what we can. Everyday when I pick litter, someone thanks me though others look at me with distain.litter represents the selfish worst of British society.shame on you.

  6. lady from Hove Reply

    I’ve just come along western road on the bus and I’ve seen absolute filth. people should be ashamed of themselves, maybe they do it in their home?
    people are setting a good example to their children these days either . . basic training doesn’t exist.
    Brighton is a disgrace. pick up other people’s litter I don’t think so !

  7. lady from Hove Reply

    update ! people are NOT setting a good example to their children. I’ve seen mums not blink an eyelid when the kids drop crisp packets and drink cans and bottles.

  8. Theresa Ritchie Reply

    I visit Brighton at least once a year and I’m actually impressed by the street cleansing guys we see. I’ve also witnessed people bending down and picking up the odd can and bottle and binning them, something I never see at home. I’ve got an interest in this back home so I’m always looking at other places to compare. What I will say is that during my last week in Brighton and Haywards Heath I found just one pile of dog poop (I was looking) whereas when I walk to work here in my home town I pass at least 6 piles daily (sometimes the same ones but not picked up) and countless clusters of plastic bottles, takeaway containers and coffee cups. So not all bad Brighton & Hove.

  9. Larry leigh Reply

    what about our filthy roads and verges the dirtiest in Europe the highways agency should be charged with gross negligence

    • John R Reply

      not sure it is their fault we have dirty disrespectful people littering our roads and verges. They will have had their budgets cut to the core just like every other public agency. the people that drop it or throw it from vehicles are the ones to charge

  10. Simon Reply

    I setup an initiative last year called #5ThingsClear asking people to pickup just 5 pieces of litter a day. If we all did our bit we’d make a massive difference.
    That one plastic bottle if blown into the ocean could end up killing a creature. This is our planet, our home. We all need to step up and look after her.

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