Street Care and Cleaning

My Street is Your Street

Litter affects everyone from residents, to local businesses, to visitors that may only be in Southend for a few hours. And in terms of the wider environmental impact, it can end up on our beaches and blown into the estuary and the sea beyond. Its impact on land and marine life can be far reaching and devastating.

We are all responsible to become part of the solution and play a proactive role in making sure that littering doesn’t happen.

Remember that my street is your street and we all have to live, work and enjoy the spaces that we share. So let’s make sure we all respect and enjoy them together. And it doesn’t end on the High Street or Golden Mile, the same goes for our beaches, streets and parks and open spaces.

#My Beach is your Beach

My beach is your beach is an extension of this campaign, launched to show all of our roles in making them welcoming and clean for everyone to enjoy. And because our beaches are the gateway to the Thames it is crucial that they are enjoyed responsibly. To support everyone who enjoys our beaches to do this we have rolled out the following initiatives:

  • Litter bin flags are in place on our busiest beaches to guide you to them.
  • Our anti-littering teams hand out bags to beachgoers – these can then be put in the litter bins at the end of your stay.
  • We are also trialling sack dispensers at key locations so that visitors can also help themselves.
  • Along the promenade you may see round floor stickers to mark where the bins are placed with a reminder of how littering is damaging our sea and wild life.
  • A number of businesses have joined the Re-fill Southend campaign – encouraging the re-filling of water bottles at their outlets.
  • In the rare event that you cannot find a litter bin nearby, please take it to the next one or home with you.

Why is it so important not to litter?

According to some estimates, about 80% of the debris found in the marine environment comes from land-based activities - including littering

It is estimated that 1.15 to 2.41 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans each year from rivers. Plastic which has been thrown away as litter is included in this figure

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been steadily growing since the 1950s and is estimated to cover a surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres – that’s an area three times the size of France.

More than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles worldwide die each year after either becoming entangled in, or eating, plastics found in the sea.

A plastic bottle can remain intact for up to 450 years and, although it will eventually break down into smaller pieces through weathering, will never completely biodegrade. Microscopic plastic pieces are found in beach sand throughout the UK.

The current level of plastic production is 280 million tonnes per year. Approximately one-third of this consists of packaging that is thrown away within about a year.

Almost 98% of dead North Sea fulmars surveyed in the southern region of the North Sea were found to have plastic in their stomachs.

Approximately 10 million tonnes of litter end up in the world’s seas and oceans every year. Plastics, more particularly plastic packaging waste such as beverage bottles and single-use bags, are by far the main type of debris found in the marine environment.

The list goes on: damaged fishing nets, ropes, sanitary towels, tampons, cotton buds sticks, condoms, cigarette butts, disposable lighters, etc.

For further information regarding plastics please see our Plasticity pages .

Want to play a more proactive role in your community?

We have launched the Street Champions initiative, to encourage residents and businesses to take ownership of their immediate area. Whether you can spend just a few minutes a week, or even a few hours cleaning up your local area or beach, we would love to hear from you! For further information please visit our Street Champions page.

For further information about how to get involved please see the links below:

European Environment Agency 

Keep Scotland Beautiful 

The Ocean Clean Up 

For further information about how to get involved please see the links.

Page last updated: 24/07/2019