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Annual Litter Report by Planet Patrol

Report released on 6th May 2022

Over the last four years 35,000+ volunteers across 113 countries have logged more than 400,000 individual items of litter from every continent, except Antarctica. Without their efforts, this litter would continue to exist, unobserved and unaccounted for, invisibly causing harm to our environment. Here are the collective findings and urgent calls to action.

85,326 pieces of litter were logged in 2021 across an estimated 27,000km of land, coastlines and waterways. Every piece recorded has been verified and analysed to present a true picture of the UK's litter crisis from evidence based findings.

The executive summary is a 2 minute read.

A snapshot of the findings

  • Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Heineken International are responsible for nearly a quarter (23%) of all branded litter 

  • Over half (51%) of branded litter can be traced back to just 10 brands

  • Drinks industry is the largest polluter for second year running and responsible for over one third of litter found in 2020 and 2021, with items including drinks cans, plastic and glass bottles, metal drinks cans, single use cups and lids.

  • Planet Patrol has made a number of recommendations to government including the urgent implementation of an all-in Deposit Return Scheme promised in the 2019 manifesto.

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10 types of litter made up 73% of records in the Planet Patrol app, listed below:

  1. Plastic fragments
  2. Metal drinks cans
  3. Plastic packaging
  4. Plastic bottles
  5. Cigarette butts
  6. Paper / cardboard packaging
  7. Plastic bags
  8. Crisp packets
  9. Glass bottles
  10. Sweet wrappers

Read the full report of findings and urgent recommendations for government and industry.

“Just ten parent companies were responsible for more than 50% of branded litter in the UK last year, and we’re seeing the same offenders like Coca Cola repeatedly in our data. We are part of a fundamentally flawed system that continues to allow brands to pollute without consequence or accountability, whilst our environment pays the price. Litter is the symptom of a deeper rooted, system problem – not the cause.”

Lizzie Carr MBE, Founder of Planet Patrol

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Number of countries
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Pieces of litter logged

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