The phrase ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ is one that’s been in the back of our minds since we were all schoolchildren, and we can all instantly recall its logo of ‘Tidyman’, a silhouetted figure triumphantly discarding their paper into a wire bin.
But Keep Britain Tidy is much more than just a command – it’s also the name of the UK-based independent environmental charity behind the slogan, who have been working for almost 60 years to fight the problem of litter in Britain and encourage people to take pride in where they live.
The litter-ary history of Keep Britain Tidy
The Keep Britain Tidy initiative was actually pioneered by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, who passed a resolution to ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ in 1954. It was direct response to the growing litter problem following the post-war boom of the 1950’s; a wasteful ‘throwaway culture’ had emerged after the strict rationing of wartime, and it was clear that something had to be done to keep it under control.
Keep Britain Tidy become an independent organisation in the 1960’s, and Tidyman made his first appearance on bins and packaging in 1959. Celebrities such as the Bee Gees, Morecambe and Wise and ABBA – and not forgetting the most famous tidy-uppers of all, The Wombles – began to throw their support behind the Keep Britain Tidy campaigns, to stop the public from throwing their rubbish on the ground!
In the decades that followed, the message of Keep Britain Tidy began to spread further afield and the other UK countries commenced their own anti-litter initiatives too. But in modern day Britain, Keep Britain Tidy does so much more than just battle for our bins.
The modern ways to Keep Britain Tidy
A photo posted by @ghostcoach on
Doing your bit to Keep Britain Tidy is now more than just properly disposing of your litter. At personal, community and business levels we all have a responsibility to not only get rid of our rubbish properly, but also reduce the amount that we throw away in the first place, and encourage those around us to do the same.
Keep Britain Tidy now has three main aims: to eliminate litter, to improve local places, such as beaches and parks, and to end waste altogether where possible. Among many other programmes, Keep Britain Tidy give out the Blue Flag Award and Seaside Award to the very best beaches and areas of coastline, and you’re sure to be familiar with their Break the Bag Habit campaign which was instrumental in the implementation of the 5p carrier bag charge, as well as their long-running campaigns against dog poo and chewing gum.
Keep Britain Tidy with your business
There are plenty of opportunities for your business to do your part to help Keep Britain Tidy, and set a good example by both your employees and your brand. Keep Britain Tidy’s Big Tidy Up campaign sees litter-picking events held across the country in which everyone can take part, and 2016 is a great year to get involved as Keep Britain Tidy has commenced its Clean for the Queen campaign, urging everyone to do their part to clean up Britain in time for our Monarch’s 90th birthday in June! You can search for a local event for your employees to join, or alternatively, you can organise a Big Tidy Up or Clean for the Queen event of your own.
Keep Britain Tidy have also been the driving force behind Eco-Schools, an international award programme that aims to make schools ‘go green’ through becoming more sustainable and instilling environmental awareness into their students. Biological cleaning products brand Innu-Science are one of the latest businesses to show their support for the Eco-Schools programme, as they have become the partner provider of less hazardous, more eco-friendly cleaning products to schools within the programme. To find out more about biological cleaning products and their benefits for the environment, read our blog post here.
If your business is doing its bit to ‘Keep Britain Tidy’, we’d love to hear all about it. Tell us what it means for you to ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ in the comments below!