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New fund to help communities tackle litter launched

The Government has announced details of a new fund to help communities to crack down on litter.

The Litter Innovation Fund is intended to help communities develop new and innovative ways to tackling littler, from recycling bins to digital technology.

The money could also be spent on ‘smart-bins’ that can text alerts to rubbish collectors when they are full, stopping nasty litter from spilling out onto our high streets or leading people to litter nearby.

It will be open to local authorities, community groups and charities, as well as small and medium enterprises.

Grants of up to £10,000 will be available, although standard litter picking activities are not in scope under this fund.

A total of £45,000 of grant funding has been set aside for projects aimed specifically at reducing litter entering the marine environment.

‘Many areas are similarly keen to tackle litter locally by encouraging their communities to bin their rubbish properly rather than littering their streets and green spaces,’ said communities minister, Marcus Jones.

‘We are looking to support the most creative plans with a funding boost from the Litter Innovation Fund.’

The government claims cleaning up the country’s streets costs the taxpayer almost £800 million a year and that money could be better spent in the community.

‘Tackling the litter that blights streets across our country is an important part of our drive to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it,’ added environment minister, Therese Coffey.

‘I encourage groups to get involved and showcase the wealth of options there are out there to tackle littering. Let’s help people make the right choices.’

The chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, Allison Ogden-Newton, welcomed the launch of the new fund.

‘Innovation is vital if we are to change the behaviour of the minority of people who still think it is OK to drop their rubbish on the ground for someone else to pick up,’ she said.

‘Keep Britain Tidy’s Centre for Social Innovation was created to develop and test new approaches to behaviour change and we are delighted to see the Government has recognised the importance of innovation to tackle the blight of littering in our country.’

All projects will be measured and evaluated to assess their effectiveness and the most successful could be rolled out more widely.

The government said this will ensure local authorities and communities make the best use of a host of innovative solutions in focussing their resources to tackle the scourge of litter.

Expressions of interests for fund applications must be received by 26 September.

For more information on the Litter Innovation Fund, visit the WRAP website here.

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