2023 Litter Report coming soon

Planet Patrol Covid Guidelines and Litter Picking Health and Safety 

This page is updated as government guidance on COVID-19 changes, to ensure you protect your own safety and that of others. The latest government advice for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found here: https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/coronavirus-lockdown-rules-four-nations-uk – please ensure that you are up to date with advice for your local area before doing a litter pick.


Here’s everything you need to know to litter pick safely on your own. 


Awareness of Covid-19:

  • Follow your national and local Government coronavirus guidance and regulations. Keep your distance from others whilst litter picking (2m – 6 ft – apart) if preferred. Please ensure that you are up to date with advice for your local area. •
*Planet Patrol does not accept any liability for contraction of COVID-19 or injury for anyone who undertakes litter picking. 


If you are looking to purchase litter picking equipment, visit the Planet Patrol website

We recommend:

  • Use a reusable bag or container like a bucket or garden trug to collect litter. Avoid single-use plastic bin bags to prevent unnecessary plastic.
  • Wear reusable protective gloves, such as gardening gloves, and avoid sharing gloves with other people. 
  • Avoid touching or picking up litter with your bare hands. If you choose to do this, carry hand sanitiser and wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Use a litter picker.

Use of land:

  • Ensure you have relevant permissions to be on the land that you are using.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous areas such as deep or fast-flowing water, steep, slippery or unstable banks, sharp rocks, derelict buildings, busy roads and electric fences (which are identified by yellow warning signs).

Picking up litter:

We recommend that you avoid picking up:

  • Needles / syringes – make a note of their location and inform the relevant authorities. For example, in England you can report findings of discarded needles here, and the local council will arrange for the removal and disposal of discarded syringes and other drug related items in public places.
  • Potentially hazardous, dangerous or poisonous objects such as unidentified cans or canisters, oil drums and chemical containers.If you find such objects, contact the relevant authority. For example, in England the Environment Agency has a hotline for dangerous/ poisonous items on 0800 80 70 60.
  • Organic matter. 

Take care when picking up:

  • Sharp objects such as broken glass, ceramics or metals. Use protective gloves, a litter picker and sturdy container to protect yourself.
  • Heavy items. Lifting heavy items can be dangerous – assess and use proper lifting technique and consider whether it would be better reported to the relevant authority, for example a local council. 

If you encounter fly tipping or illegally dumped waste:

Report to the relevant authority. For example, in England and Wales you can report fly tipping and illegally dumped waste to your local council here.

Personal care:

  • Wash your hands (before and after litter picking) and carry hand sanitiser if you have some. Avoid touching your face until you’ve washed or sanitised your hands. Guidance on how to wash your hands here
  • Keep hands away from mouth and eyes whilst litter-picking.
  • ​​Cover any cuts with surgical tape, waterproof plaster or plaster spray. 



Be mindful of wildlife and natural habitats, for example birds nests. Avoid disturbing wildlife by keeping a reasonable distance and be cautious in areas such as bushes and long grass, particularly during breeding seasons. 



Dispose of litter responsibly and recycle wherever possible. 

To help keep you safe follow government advice, if you collect PPE, dispose of them in general waste, not in a recycling bin. Only collect PPE waste if you feel comfortable doing so.



Record litter you find in Planet Patrol’s global database. Simply take a photo and record the brands you find in our app. We can use this data to stop polluters and influence change.

If you don’t feel comfortable picking up litter you can still make a difference by using our app, Planet Patrol. The data you collect is vital evidence that brands and government cannot ignore. All you have to do is take a photo and no touching needed! 

You can download the app for free here: https://planetpatrol.co/download-our-app/

Our organised group clean ups

Planet Patrol’s organised activity clean ups follow the latest Government and Sports England guidance relating to coronavirus which you can find here, and are outlined below:

  • Clean up leaders and participants maintain a safe two metre distance. Through demonstration and clear explanation we will ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • Good hygiene practices are in place
  • Equipment is disinfected regularly and between sessions
  • Before attending a session you must sign the digital consent form that is sent to you. If you have Covid symptoms, are contacted by a track and trace and told to self-isolate or suspect you’ve been exposed to the virus must let Planet Patrol know and you must not attend the clean up session. Your deposit will be refunded.
  • Clean up participants must inform Planet Patrol if they have show any symptoms, contracted COVID-19 or been told to isolate, since booking their Planet Patrol clean up session. We will contact all individuals from your session and inform them to isolate and get a COVID-19 test and follow the government rules.

If you have any questions or would like further guidance visit www.planetpatrol.co or email hello@planetpatrol.co with ‘Litter Picking Guidance’ in the subject line.

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