Hubbub Encourages Forest Goers To Tackle Growing Litter Problem

Hubbub and Lucozade Ribena Suntory today (15 May) unveiled their “Trashconverter Van”, designed to take action on roadside litter in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Building on the successful “Love Your Forest” initiative, the Trashconverter Van will tour the Forest of Dean, an area that suffers from high rates of roadside litter, from 15-28 May. The van accepts “trash rather than cash” in exchange for food, flowers and hot drinks, to highlight the issue and nudge positive behaviour.

100 replica wild flowers made entirely from layby litter will also be displayed with the intention of nudging the public to remember what the forest floor should be covered in.

Love Your Forest will see six different organisations; Hubbub, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Forest of Dean District Council, Foresters Forest, The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association and the Forestry Commission, all join forces in 2017 in a unique collaborative effort to fight the litter blight.

 “Layby litter louts blight the beautiful natural landscape, dumping 250 tonnes of rubbish each year in the Forest of Dean, some of which takes several thousand years to decompose.”

Polling by Hubbub reveals that 86% of the public believe dropping litter is an anti-social behaviour, much like driving without a seatbelt or smoking in front of children. Yet while those other behaviours have virtually disappeared in recent years, one in five people admit to dropping litter consciously.

A new government litter strategy launched in April is determined to take action on roadside littering.

New, tougher penalties – including fines of up to £150 – will be used to penalise offenders in a bid to tackle this growing national problem. It states that drivers and passengers that drop, put or throw food, coffee cups, fast food material or smoking material, nappies etc. out of their vehicle are committing littering offences.

The strategy also shines a spotlight on new and innovative campaigns which use nudge theory and other behaviour change techniques to encourage road users to dispose of their litter responsibly.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Co-Founder of Hubbub, said: “Layby litter louts blight the beautiful natural landscape, dumping 250 tonnes of rubbish each year in the Forest of Dean, some of which takes several thousand years to decompose. So, we’re taking the unusual step of swapping rubbish for rewards to promote positive behaviours and encourage everyone to dispose of their litter properly.”

Top 5 items collected in the littered laybys that take the longest to decompose:

  1. Plastic bag – over 33 generations to disappear (1000 years)
  2. Plastic bottle – 30 generations to disappear (500 years)
  3. Beer can – over 6½ generations to disappear (200 years)
  4. Plastic ring holder – 3½ generations to disappear (100 years)
  5. Crisp packet – 2½ generations to disappear (80 years)1

Hubbub’s last Love Your Forest roadside litter campaign, Communitrees, reduced litter by more than 30%, proving that behaviour change campaigns make a huge difference.

Mick Pedder, Site Director, Lucozade Ribena Suntory said; “At Coleford we’re well aware of what a privilege it is to work in such a beautiful area – one that so many of our staff call home. It is therefore only natural that we passionately believe in working with the local community, the Council and Hubbub to take action, put an end to littering and protect the Forest.”

The Forest of Dean is the first stop on what will hopefully become a national tour for Hubbub’s Trashconverter Van. The charity evaluates all their initiatives to identify which deliver the greatest impact and then shares recommended approaches and templated resources with other like-minded groups and organisations to amplify impact.

Rachel Capon, contracts manager (Collection and Street Scene), Joint Waste Team at the Forest of Dean District Council, said: “We are delighted to work with Hubbub again and our partners to support the Love Your Forest campaign in the Forest of Dean for a second year.  This year the campaign aims to be bigger and better and will raise awareness of litter which is being dropped by people or thrown out of car windows on our streets and roadsides in towns and villages and across the beautiful green areas of the Forest.’’

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