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2020 Litter Report by Planet Patrol

Report released on 1st February 2021

Over the last three years Planet Patrol volunteers around the world have recorded over 310,000 pieces of litter in nature and recorded it all in the free Planet Patrol app.

We’re proud to share our second litter impact report, presenting the findings of Planet Patrol’s community. Working closely with our partner scientists at the University of Nottingham and University of Glasgow, we’ve analysed the litter data and gathered a true understanding of the extent of litter recorded in the UK, broken down by brands, types and distribution.

The impact report makes a number of recommendations, including a nationwide ban on single-use carrier bags, and a call for much clearer and stronger waste producer responsibilities. This series of reports by Planet Patrol will be essential for assessing the adequacy of policy interventions and industry’s sustainability commitments in an important decade for environmental protection.

The report summary is a 2 minute read.

Key findings:

  • 1,243 brands recorded. Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Budweiser, Cadbury and Walkers found to be the top five polluting brands.
  • Plastic packaging, metal drinks cans, plastic bottles, drinks cans, polystyrene, cigarette butts and plastic bags amongst the top ten types of litter found.
  • PPE represents just 1.5% of litter recorded.
Infographic showing the top 10 brands and types of litter recorded in the Planet Patrol app in 2020

Read the full report of findings from Planet Patrol app users in 2020 and recommendations for action to stop litter from source by clicking on the button below.

“This report demonstrates the value of citizen science as a tool to engage and education members of the public. It also highlights to industry and government the national extent of the litter that their products and policies contribute to, and can guide their efforts to address this.”

Tom Stanton, Lecturer in Environmental Science at the Nottingham Trent University

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