Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 12:08 UK

Huge litter pick gets under way

First anti-litter campaign
The group's first anti-litter campaign was launched more than 50 years ago

England's biggest litter clear-up is to get under way more than 50 years after the Keep Britain Tidy group first urged people to take their rubbish home.

The campaigning group is organising thousands of litter picks across the country over the next month.

It is calling for a return to 1950s values when it says dropping litter was seen as unacceptable.

Some 6,000 groups have signed up for the Big Tidy Up which aims to collect half-a-million bin bags of litter.

Fast-food problem

Two great-granddaughters of Lady Elizabeth Brunner, who as head of the Women's Institute got the anti-litter movement off the ground more than half-a-century ago, will dress in clothes from the 1950s to launch the initiative.

Nine-year-old Marnie Breadin said: "We have heard all about our great grandmother and how she started Keep Britain Tidy.

"We think she was cool to start it all off because she didn't like litter and we don't like litter either."

Organisers want 10,000 schools, businesses and community groups across England to get involved in the month-long blitz.

Phil Barton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "We are turning the clock back to the era of our founding mother Lady Brunner because we want to see a return to 1950s attitudes.

"At that time litter was seen as being unacceptable. Unfortunately, for a minority of people today, dropping litter seems to have become the norm, accepted even."

Keep Britain Tidy said fast-food litter was one of the main problems these days, and that smoking-related litter had doubled since bans were introduced for enclosed public places.


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