National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

How to organise a successful litter pick

Why not undertake a clean up and enhance your local environment for future generations? Carrying out a litter pick is one way to do this, it is a great thing to do because…

  • You are helping to remove litter from the environment, a lot of the litter we see contains plastic, which won’t degrade, it just breaks up into smaller pieces, making it harder to remove. 
  • Litter can easily reach rivers by being carried over land or through storm drains. Rivers carry litter to the ocean, so even litter dropped inland could reach the ocean and harm marine life. Wherever you carry out your litter pick you are helping prevent plastic accumulating in our oceans.
  • You are making your local environment more attractive for yourself and others to enjoy and you could inspire others to do the same
  • Taking part in litter picks or seeing the litter others pick up, can inspire people to change their behaviour to prevent litter entering the environment in the first place. Behaviour changes could include reducing the use of single use plastics and making sure to dispose of waste responsibly. Check out our YFC at home activities on the NFYFC website to help identify the plastic you use in your life and make a pledge to reduce your plastic waste.
  • It is a great way to explore and enjoy your local environment, whilst making a positive difference and enhancing your own wellbeing.
  • Collecting data from litter picks can provide information about the most commons types of litter, and where there are local litter hotspots. This can help target actions to prevent litter entering the environment. In 2020 the Marine Conservation Society found the three most common large litter items collected from beach cleans were plastic lids, wet wipes and cigarette stubs. (Cigarette stubs and wet wipes can contain plastic).  

Remember to follow these guidelines, if you're inspired to organise a litter pick: 

  • Identify the area you would like to clean up. This could be anywhere you have identified which has litter, such as your local green space, park, playing fields, carpark, or a beach.
  • If you are the organiser of a group litter pick, visit the site in advance and carry out a risk assessment so you can produce health and safety guidelines for participants  We have an example risk assessment and health and safety guidance for you to use and adapt.
  • Encourage as many club members to join in as possible. Please ensure you follow the latest UK Government coronavirus guidelines for your area.
  • Make sure everyone has read and is happy with the health and safety guidelines. Make and keep a record of everyone who has attended. Group leaders should continuously assess the situation for new or changing risks. 

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