Important:   Litter can be contaminated, so we have put together some information to help you handle it safely. Please click on this link to have a read through our Health and Safety Guidance before you go out litter-picking.



When schools have a litter problem it creates complaints from residents and businesses. Staff, pupils and visitors find it off-putting too.

Whilst litter within school grounds is legally the responsibility of the school, could you work with a local school to reduce the amount of litter and clean up the surrounding area? Many schools have a teacher with special responsibility for environmental activity and school projects. Start by contacting the school office to find out who it is. See if an assembly on litter is possible, or a litter survey, a litter bin or poster design competition, an art-from-litter project or a study of how long it takes for litter to degrade.

A number of UK organisations offer environmental education resources for primary and secondary schools, some for colleges and universities too (see Sustainability and Environmental Education – SE-ED – below).

National Association for Environmental Education (UK):
CPRE with the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust:
Sustainability and Environmental Education:
Green Schools Project:

One of the longest established schemes is Eco-Schools which is a global sustainability programme. Information on its international Litter Less Campaign can be viewed here:

It’s easy and free to become an Eco-School and it gives access to a fantastic range of materials, advice, help and inspiration covering topics such as water, biodiversity, energy, global perspectives, healthy living, litter, school grounds, transport and waste.

Eco-Schools is run in England by Keep Britain Tidy:
In Wales:
In Northern Ireland:
In Scotland:

Looking for funds to tackle school litter? Groundwork has compiled an A-Z of fundraising ideas for schools and young people:

Last edited: July 19, 2021 - 15:06:38