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Impact Report by Planet Patrol

We couldn’t find a reliable, impartial, scientifically robust tool to record litter we found in nature, so we built our own.

Over the last three years Planet Patrol volunteers around the world have collected nearly 300,000 pieces of litter in nature and recorded it all in the Planet Patrol app. In 2019 we took this data and worked closely with our partner scientists at University of Nottingham and University of Glasgow to analyse it and gather 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 plastic bags, and a call for much clearer waste producer responsibilities. We hope to see these details reflected in the Government’s Environment Bill as it makes it’s way through Parliament. This five-year 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. With ongoing data real-time crowdsourced data collection, which empowers citizens to ‘police’ the system, it provides an opportunity to monitor and regulate the framework of a circular economy.

Key findings:

  • A total of 1065 brands were recorded by the public, with Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Walkers, Mars and Tesco found to be the top five polluting brands.

  • Plastic packaging, plastic bottles, drinks cans, polystyrene, cigarette butts and plastic bags were amongst the top ten types of litter found.

  • Plastic makes up 83% of overall litter recorded.

Following on from the results of the report, Planet Patrol recommends the UK Government implements:

  1. A reformed waste producer responsibility coupled with a transparent regulatory framework

  2. An ‘all in’ Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) that includes all single-use materials and container types and sizes

  3. A nationwide ban on plastic bags

“These results – the first of their kind from Planet Patrol – serve as a crucial wake-up call to us all. It is clear that now is the time for Government, industry and individuals to step up our ambitions and act accordingly to tackle the single-use litter crisis, which continues despite increasing awareness.”


– Lizzie Carr, Planet Patrol Founder-

Examples of Litter Recorded
Ton Bags of Litter Collected

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