News story

Litter Innovation Fund: Government backs new community projects

The first tranche of funding has been awarded to innovative litter-fighting projects across Britain


A range of innovative projects to tackle litter louts in local communities have been awarded funding by the government, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced today (9 March 2018).

The first round of funding sees a number of councils, charities, businesses, and public projects awarded almost £125,000 to take innovative steps to tackle littering in their communities.

The successful projects include developing bins to prevent seagulls from scattering litter on beaches and working with river users to reduce plastic getting into rivers, helping to tackle the issue of litter getting into our marine environment.

The funding builds on the Government’s wider Litter Strategy for England, as well as the recent launch of the 25 Year Environment Plan setting out how Government will protect and enhance our natural environment.

Welcoming the new projects, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it and these innovative new projects will help reduce the amount of litter which so often plagues our streets, parks, countryside, rivers and marine environment.

We have all seen the damaging effects that litter can have on wildlife and the environment, and I encourage people to do their bit, take responsibility for their litter and recycle more.

Communities Minister Rishi Sunak said:

The Litter Innovation Fund is part of our wider strategy to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering while leaving a cleaner, greener and tidier environment for the next generation.

I am looking forward to seeing these projects supporting that strategy while helping communities make a real difference in their area.

Government has recently announced a range of new measures to tackle waste including proposals to extend the 5p plastic bag charge to small retailers and introducing a ban on plastic microbeads.

Keeping the country’s streets clean cost local Government almost £700 million last year. Much of this is avoidable litter, and money that could be better spent in the community. Despite this, a worrying 1 in 5 people admit to dropping litter.

A second round of applications will be launched shortly.


  • The Litter Innovation Fund was set up as part of the Government’s Litter Strategy for England which was launched in April 2017 as is administered by the sustainability not-for-profit charity WRAP. A total of £450,000 is available for funding to local projects.

  • Applications are assessed consistently and against published criteria.

  • The funding is evenly provided by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Department for Communities and Local Government and funding awarded is limited to a maximum of £10,000 per project. Projects much also secure match finding.

  • The cost of £682m in 2016/17 for street cleaning is from Official local Government returns to DCLG.

  • Research on one in five admitting to having dropped litter in the past is from Keep Britain Tidy - Litter Droppers Segmentation research (2010).

Published 9 March 2018