During a Green Flag assessment the assessors will be on the lookout for litter - and they will not recommend the school for its award if there is a litter problem. So what exactly is litter?
Litter has been given a wide interpretation by the courts. It can be as small as a sweetie paper, as large as a bag of rubbish, or it can be a lot of items scattered around. The common definition of litter is ‘waste left by people in the wrong place’. Litter includes synthetic materials, such as those associated with smoking, eating and drinking; and materials that will eventually decay, such as food waste and dog fouling.
Litter is a very visible problem – it’s easy to see how a playground awash with crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers can give a bad impression of the whole school, especially one that is participating in the Eco-Schools programme. On the other hand, by carrying out regular litter surveys and making sure the grounds and surrounding area are litter-free, both pupils and the local community will benefit. Cleaning up can also help to foster a sense of personal pride and responsibility in pupils.