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Keep Wales Tidy’s Litter Free Zone Campaign Goes From Strength To Strength

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While the long hot days of summer have slowly been creeping up on us and the cricket season easing sleepily into full swing, the momentum of the Keep Wales Tidy Litter Free Zone Campaign has shown no sign of slowing, several McDonalds franchises, Grosvenor Street Physiotherapy Centre in North Wales and the National Museum of Wales are just three of the most recent organisations to pledge support and give the campaign fresh impetus.

With over 80 groups and businesses now signed up and promising to help keep communities’ litter free, the scheme continues to go from strength to strength, thanks partly to the concerted mid campaign push over the last month to get businesses involved before the start of the summer holidays.

Litter picking can quickly transform an area, from one that looks neglected into somewhere that people can feel proud of says Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys.

In Powys alone several McDonalds franchises have joined the campaign, the Buttington outlet in the north of the county agreeing not only to keep their car park and outside space clean, but also adopting the area immediately around their premises, including the Canal and Rivers Trust picnic area near the old Lime Kilns on Buttington Wharf.

Long hot days, soft summer breezes, big blue cloudless skies. The perfect conditions for employees to carry out monthly litter picks and, in so doing, boost their mental health and sense of well-being.

Cllr Charlton has no doubt about the benefits whatsoever,

Encouraging businesses and their employees to help keep their local areas clean, tidy and free from litter is all part of the larger Wales-wide Caru Cymru initiative which aims to inspire everyone to take action and care for the environment. By working together to create a clean and safe environment, we can build stronger, healthier communities and make a positive difference to our planet. We would like to encourage more Powys based businesses to get involved and adopt a Litter Free Zone. Not only will it show customers they are a responsible business that takes the issue of littering seriously, but allowing staff to be involved with community projects is also proven to help boost productivity, staff moral and retention. We are grateful for the support from our Keep Wales Tidy volunteers, who will be able to provide participating businesses with resources and help to publicise their Litter Free Zone status.

Grosvenor Therapies in Mold is one of a number of businesses in the town to join the campaign and its director and senior physiotherapist, Rob Kelly, has no qualms singing from the same hymn sheet as Cllr Charlton.

He said,

Being small and family run, making our business sustainable and successful is one of our priorities. The majority of patients who visit our clinic are struggling with physical or mental challenges.  We want their experience with us to be as pleasant as possible.  A tidy and litter free area around the clinic plays a part in this positive experience. Becoming a Litter Free Zone has been a tremendous support in helping us set up the litter picks.  We feel we are part of a group of likeminded businesses working together and our little bit contributes to something much bigger.

Way down south in the heart of the country’s capital city, Sian Taylor Jones is keen to point out that, saying,

The conversation about the importance of caring for our natural world has never been so relevant and we’re proud to be able to do our part in keeping Cardiff tidy.

Sian is the Museum Garden Co-ordinator for the National Museum Wales, who, to the delight of Keep Wales Tidy, have recently joined the scheme.

She continued,

By removing litter, Amgueddfa Cymru’s Our Museum Garden project will improve the biodiversity around the museum, and this has been made easier with the support of the Litter Free Zone campaign.  We hope it will inspire others to join the campaign and support Keep Wales Tidy.

The process to join the campaign could not be easier, businesses wishing to take part can simply either visit the Keep Wales Tidy website to register their interest, or download the Litter Free Zone toolkit providing full information on how to sign up; then pledge to litter pick for just half an hour a month, recording data on Epicollect.

Equipment’s no problem either as businesses can either borrow what they need from the nearest Keep Wales Tidy Litter Picking Hub, or buy at a discounted rate from Helping Hand Environmental.

As far as the Litter Free Zone Campaign is concerned, Louise Tambini, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy, had the final word,

We really hope that businesses throughout Wales will support this worthy cause because becoming part of our Litter Free Zone campaign is the ideal way to make a real difference in the community, helping to not only protect our environment, but also preserve it for future generations.