23 items of rubbish are discarded every single second

23 items of rubbish are dropped every second in the UK, according to new research conducted by Regatta and Keep Britain Tidy. 

According to the research, an estimated two million pieces of rubbish are dropped every single day.

Approximately 30% of this litter is smoking-related, with 244 million cigarette butts discarded as rubbish.

To put these figures into context, Regatta has calculated that stacked up on top of each other, the number of cigarettes discarded weekly would tower as high as 27.9 times the height of Ben Nevis.

Keep Britain Tidy revealed that this is not just harming the environment, but cleaning these streets costs taxpayers more than £1bn every year.

A spokesperson from Regatta said: ‘Due to the impact of the Coronavirus, more people than ever have gone out on walks and to explore their local green spaces, the amount of litter dropped by visitors saw local people become frustrated on social media as day-trippers left piles of rubbish lying around instead of taking it home with them.

‘As the stats show, smoking-related rubbish adds up to 30% of litter that’s discarded in the UK.

But there’s still another 70% of litter that’s not being compared to in these stats against Ben Nevis, showing that we really are going through a litter crisis and more needs to be done to stop people from disrespecting our planet.’

In related news, Julia Stegemann, professor of environmental engineering at UCL and Stijn van Ewijk, postdoctoral associate at Yale University discuss why we still need waste in a circular economy.

The idea of a circular economy aims to address these problems by rejecting the take-make-dispose model of production and consumption that governs our world. Instead, waste is ‘designed out’ and materials are kept at a high value for longer through reuse, repair and recycling.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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