Late January, Leap got a wonderful call from Surfers Against Sewage Project Manager, Dom Ferris.

We were stoked to hear from them, let alone they had a project that was right up our eco-creative street. The down side, we had under 4 weeks to take this from estimate stage to completed print. We like a challenge though, both creative, environmental and time based. We were hooked straight away and we knew what to do after running the Design Council’s Eco Design Challenge previous and consulting on the Big Design Challenge and Southern Water’s Water Design Challenge we had a fair bit of experience from all angles.

We worked with Dr Jo Henley of Sciart (whose own branding and website we produced 5 years ago) who wrote the content and concept and Dom and the SAS team, we created a series of characters from scratch that fitted Jo’s make up for them, over all branding for the programme, a game and all design for print material and we did it on time. We’ve still got a couple of out rider items to do like the certificates but these won’t be needed until nearer the time, once we have the school results.
More info from and some of our design work.

Surfers Against Sewage and Clean Cornwall – 1st of March

Be The Change… Cornish Conservation Charities Join Forces To Launch New Education Programme

Cornwall’s students to play a starring role in keeping their communities litter free.

As part of Clean Cornwall week, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and Clean Cornwall are delighted to announce the launch of their innovative new ‘Be The Change’ education programme in 16 schools across Cornwall from the 7th – 21st of March.

Surfers Against Sewage’s education team will be delivering the interactive ‘Be The Change’ workshop to over 2,000 primary and secondary school students from Launceston to Cape Cornwall. The workshops will not only promote the vital work already being done by Cornwall’s ‘Litter Heroes’ but also highlight the need for more collective action to stem the rising tide of litter blighting Cornwall’s communities, streets, countryside, beaches and seas. The new ‘Be The Change’ workshops will invite participants to ask themselves what role they can play to keep their communities litter free and inspire them to create their own innovative ‘Anti-Litter Action Plans’.

The schools involved have been invited to send a group of student representatives to a ‘Rubbish Day Out’ hosted by SAS and Clean Cornwall at the Eden Project on the 21st of March. Here they will pitch, Dragon’s Den style, to a panel of expert judges as they bid to win the inaugural ‘Be The Change Award’ where, as well as receiving a bespoke piece of artwork from Cornish glass artist Jo Downs, there are two grants of £500 to support the delivery of the most ambitious and inspiring ‘Anti-Litter Action Plans’.

The Be The Change launch coincides with Clean Cornwall’s new ‘Faces of Cornwall’ campaign promoting the incredible work that Cornwall’s ‘Litter Heroes’ are doing every day across the county’s streets, countryside, beaches and seas. Sadly, in spite of the tireless efforts of bin people, fishers, volunteer litter pickers, passionate school children and so many others, litter is still on the increase and we need to rethink and strength our litter action plans to engage all members of Cornwall’s vibrant communities in the collective drive to a cleaner Cornwall.

The litter crisis knows no boundaries and impacts land and sea alike. There are now approximately 4,000 items of litter for each mile of the UK’s coastline, this equates to a staggering 1 million pieces littered across Cornwall’s stunning 300 miles of coast. Over 80% of marine litter is thought to come from land based sources which is no surprise considering 2.25 million pieces of litter (the majority of which is plastic) are dropped on the streets of the UK every day.

These shocking stats emphasise the importance of our ‘Litter Heroes’ but clearly highlight the need for individuals and communities in Cornwall to help them by taking responsibility for the litter problem too. We can all make small changes to our lives that have a big impact on the wellbeing of our community and our environment and through the Be The Change education programme Cornish schools will be leading by example.

Speaking about the Be The Change Schools Award, Clean Cornwall Chair Lady Mary Holborow said, “We have been absolutely thrilled by the number of schools saying a big ‘yes’ to being a part of Be The Change.  We know, without any doubt, that these schools are taking notice of litter and its impact. With young people thinking more about how litter finds its way on to our beaches, pavements, hedgerows and coming up with their own ideas about the role they can play to stop this, maybe, just maybe, the change they want to see and make happen will encourage others around them to think about what they can do as well.”

SAS Projects Manager, Dom Ferris, says; “Litter knows no boundaries, it is a problem from source to sea. The solutions to this global crisis must start locally and where better to start than with Cornwall’s incredible schools!? We are so excited to be heading out to join forces with thousands of young Cornish people and to see them ‘Be The Change’ that they want to see in their communities”

The Be the Change educational resources are designed to encourage, inform, inspire and empower young people and the communities they represent. The content is aimed at Key Stage 3 and hits the following attainment targets of the National Curriculum: Science, geography, citizenship and PSHE. The resources will be available for download at from March 23rd.

To find out more about the Be The Change education programme or to get your school involved contact SAS’s education team [email protected] or call 01872 553001.

Litter Stats

There are 43 regular community litter picking groups linked with Clean Cornwall operating within the county. Surfers Against Sewage organised 107 beach cleans in Cornwall in 2015 involving 3525 people who collected 16,600kgs of litter. Beach Care carried out 107 beach cleans across Cornwall and Devon in 2015, involving over 1500 people who collected 1341 bags of litter.

If every adult in Cornwall picked up just one piece of litter and put it in a bin, that would be 417,000 pieces of rubbish disposed of. If everyone continued to pick up at least one piece of litter every day for the next nine months, Cornwall would be 127,602,000 pieces of litter lighter. We can do it. We can all Clean Cornwall.

But imagine if we didn’t have to…

Cornwall waste and recycling stats

In 2014/15 Cornwall Council dealt with 4,440 fly-tipping incidents, which cost approximately £272,000. The majority of fly-tipping occurs along Cornwall’s highways, and the 10 towns/parishes where fly-tips are recorded the most are Penzance, Bodmin, Camborne, Launceston, Truro, Falmouth, Redruth, Bude, St Austell, and Newquay.

In 2014/15 Cornwall households produced 165,593 tonnes, that’s 144 bin bags per household per year, or nearly 3 bags a week (230,400 households). This is also 63 bags per minute. This means that Cornwall households produce enough waste per year to fill the largest biome at the Eden Project 33 times over!

In 2014/15 Cornwall households recycled 58,741 tonnes, which is 51 bin bags per household per year, or 1 bin bag a week, enough to fill the Eden Project nearly 12 times over.

Cornish households produce enough bin bags to line the A30 from Hayle to Bodmin every day!

If all the bin bags produced per year by households in Cornwall were lined up along their width, it would wrap around the Cornish coastline 51 times. Or you would have to drive from Lands’ End to John O’Groats 19 times to get to the end of the line. Another way to put that into perspective is that this distance is 61% of the way around the world at the equator.

If Cornwall wants to increase recycling rates and get to the national average of 43.7%, Cornish households would need to recycle 3,113,148 bin bags, or 14 bags per household per year, which would reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 9.4%, which is 3 Eden Project biomes. This is achievable! Sadly, however, the recycling participation by Cornish households is currently 65%, which means that 35% (80,640) of households are not using the extensive kerbside recycling available in Cornwall. There are over 300 recycling banks around Cornwall.

On an average week, Mon-Sun, Cornwall Council and its contractors need to supply just over 5000 hours labour resource, 123 employees and the use of 60 vehicles for street, beaches, open space and car park cleansing, which costs around £5.5 million each year. There are 40 ‘Zone 1’ locations (towns/high intensity of use areas) with 7 days per week cleansing presence.

Cornwall Council stats:

·        There are 4,600 council maintained litter/dog bins

·        The area of Cornwall is 3,546 square kilometres

·        7,250 kilometres of roads

·        The A30 is 112 km

·        The A38 is 40km

·        The coastline of Cornwall is 697km

·        There are 300 beaches in Cornwall

·        There are 34 Council owned beaches in Cornwall

Every working day Cornwall Council collects and landfills about 555 tonnes of rubbish. It costs around £185 to collect and dispose of a tonne of rubbish.  That’s £26,695,000 a year just to throw away our rubbish.

About 25% of the rubbish collected every day could be recycled.  It only costs £110 to collect and recycle a tonne of rubbish.  If everyone used the recycling collection service, we could save almost £2,706,000 a year.
In Cornwall we throw away 58 million aluminium cans every year that could all be recycled.


Tourism has a very large impact on our resources and impacts upon waste stats:

·     On average between 2012-2014 there were 38,960,000 (38.9 million) trips to Cornwall. This figure is the fourth largest number of England county visitors behind London, Devon, and North Yorkshire.

·        The number of these trips equated to 19.7 million (19,750,000) nights spent

in Cornwall per year.

·        The annual value of these trips was £11.26 million

Marine litter stats

Clean Cornwall is working alongside Surfers Against Sewage as part of our anti-littering campaign and join them in the fight against marine litter. SAS are organising their annual Big Spring Beach Clean between 11-17th April on various beaches around the UK, encouraging people to get involved with cleaning litter and debris from their local or favourite beaches. Marine litter is currently a huge problem, in particular, plastics, which make up 70% of all litter in the UK and the majority of which ends up in the seas. There are now 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the oceans and rising, and takes 450 years to break down in the marine environment. The density of plastic litter found on UK beaches has increased by 146% between 1994 and 2008. Small plastic pieces have been the number one item found since 1998. Additional factoids on marine plastics from SAS are:

There are four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometre litter in the deep sea.
The vast majority of marine animal species from plankton to killer whales have been found to ingest plastic.
Marine litter kills over 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds each year through ingestion and entanglement.
Plastic doesn’t disappear it just breaks down into smaller and smaller plastic pieces that accumulate in our oceans and become a danger to marine life.
Once in the ocean plastic can accumulate toxins naturally present in the environment, and can potentially release toxins incorporated at the point of manufacture, becoming toxic bombs!

General litter stats from Keep Britain Tidy

About 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day. Thirty million tons of rubbish are collected from England’s streets each year. That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium four times over and costs over a billion pound to clean up.

How long to biodegrade?

·            Paper bag up to one month

·            Orange peel up to two years

·            Banana skin up to two years

·            Plastic bag up to 10–20 years

·            Cigarette butts up to 12 years

·            Plastic bottle up to 450 years

·            Glass bottles and chewing gum are not biodegradable

How much does litter cost?

• It costs taxpayers almost £1 billion every year to clean up litter from our streets

• The cost of cleaning up chewing gum from a town centre is up to £60,000

• It costs 10 pence to clean up one piece of chewing gum

• According to a 2014 Keep Britain Tidy report, if we recycled 50% of items littered in England, it would have an economic value of at least £14.8 million

Keep Britain Tidy reported the most common type of litter found in 73% of surveyed areas was smoking related debris, followed by confectionary packs (61%) and non-alcoholic drinks related debris (52%). There are 122 tonnes of cigarette butts dropped daily in the UK, which is the equivalent of eight and a half London buses.




Author Leapness

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