This is a list of things you can do and start doing today. Each will make a positive and incremental contribution to the war against littering. We're not expecting others to do things so we're doing things ourselves to demonstrate what can be done!
If a piece of litter has a telephone number or e-mail address on it make that call or send that e-mail. And don't forget to take whatever steps you might consider necessary to protect yourself.
2) Report smokers in company vehicles
The Health Act 2006 made it illegal to smoke in all vehicles used primarily for business purposes by more than one person.
Furthermore, the vast majority of smokers in vehicles, if seen smoking with the car window open, will dispose of their cigarette end by dropping it or throwing it out of the car window.
So, if you see someone smoking in a company vehicle with the window open you can note its e-mail address, get it from their website or use their online contact form to send a message giving the time of day and registration number of the vehicle. A camera can be used to capture all this information.
You'll be surprised by the number of apologetic and grateful messages you receive in reply.
3) Put an anti-littering message on your car
Coming soon: Go to the Zilch website and order a bumper sticker. Available in a variety of sizes and with a number of alternative messages some are even being given away for FREE!
4) Bring attention to overflowing bins and fly-tippingTop^
Find out how to contact the person responsible for litter at your local council so you can report fly-tipping or an overflowing bin either by telephone or e-mail. Don't forget to provide detailed location information and the date and time at which you noticed the incident.
Whenever you pick up a tied bag of litter adopt the following procedure. Begin by photographing the bag in situ, with if possible a landmark in the picture. Then, when a bag of litter is accompanied by a credit card receipt or loyalty card voucher photgraph the contents and scan the dockets. Save the information on your file system.
When speaking to the large supermarket groups it is clear there is no technological barrier to tracing the person who undertook the transaction. If enough evidence of this nature is gathered it may bring about changes that would compel these companies to do something about the perpetrators of this crime.
Whatever goes up, eventually and inevitably comes down and becomes litter. The release of chinese lanterns or helium balloons may look pretty for a brief moment but the consequences of such irresponsible action can be devastating.
Yes, the balloons explode a high altitude so instead of getting just on piece of litter you get many and the lanterns are supposedly biodegradable but the aluminium capsules that hold the wax and the fine wires that hold them are not.
7) Leave a message for irresponsible dog ownersTop^
Place a message under the dog poo or attach it to the poo bag and leave it for the dog walker to see next time he/she passes by. Dog walkers, like their dogs, are creatures of habit and most repeatedly use the same route for exercising their dogs. Leaving a message means that they become aware that someone is keeping an eye on their round and has been found to be most effective.
Don't forget to retrieve and dispose of the message after a few days and use whatever measures you see fit to avoid contact with the faeces.
If the circumstances are right (other people around or with you) and you feel up to it, return litter to its owner and ask that they dispose of it properly. Have exactly what you want to say in mind and say something like "Sorry, excuse me, I think you've dropped something" followed by, "there's a bin over there." to an offender.
Avoid being confrontational and be prepared for the tirade of abuse that occasionally follows. Also have answers to the common retorts to hand.
Let others know about Zilch in conversation, by blogging about us, by adding a link and/or logo to your website or by including this strapline to your e-mail signature:
Zilch.org.uk - working to eliminate littering. Tell someone about us today
and ask them to indicate their enthusiasm for the initiative even if this only means adding their name to the list of registered individuals as a passive supporter by going to: http://zilch.org.uk/register.html
Don't forget, Zilch is people-powered - the more we are the greater our credibility and clout.
Litter breeds litter and although picking it up shouldn't be necessary and while Zilch is emphatically not a litter-picking organisation, it does help. The first piece of subsequent litter always stands out like a sore thumb.
Tell us about how you took action by sending an e-mail to: