Picnics are a brilliant way to spend time with friends and family, and enjoy the outdoors. But with all those sandwich packets, food wrappers and drink cartons, it can be easy to leave some of your picnic behind.

Every year 250 tonnes of litter is removed from the Forest of Dean alone, and disposable food and drink packaging can be some of the chief offenders with some 30 year old crisp packets still being found today. That's vintage litter alright. As part of the Love Your Forest anti litter campaign in the Forest of Dean...

...we challenge you to host a litter-free picnic

And you could win a £50 voucher plus a litter-free picnic kit! All you need to do is host a picnic with re-usable wrapping, share a picture on FacebookInstagram or Twitter using #LoveYourForest by 31st August 2017 and remember to take any litter home.

To help, we've pulled a taster of tips for cutting waste and packaging from commonly used items in your picnic:

1) Use leftovers or make something fresh at home

Sounds simple but by making everything at home, you won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving the odd packaging behind at the end of your picnic. Mix leftover veg or meats with pasta for delicious picnic meal.

2) Use Tupperware and flasks

These reusable products are an easy way to keep litter at home. Not only is tupperware great for pastas and sandwiches but we also recommend using them for any cold meats or fruits. If you're one put off by plastic Tupperware discolouring or collecting odours, try glass containers.

3) Bring a bin bag with you

Having a separate bag for your litter means that other items won’t get dirty and your litter won’t blow away.

P.S. Bring an umbrella!

(Ok, we know this isn’t about litter, but it wouldn’t be British summertime if we didn’t have to warn you about the weather!)

Get more tips and recipes in the picnic inspiration guide

We’ve put together an inspiration guide with more ideas on how to cut packaging and waste through the products you use, some great locations for the most scenic picnics in and around the Forest of Dean, and we’ve even put in some recipe suggestions that are sure to go down well with all your friends and family. Tuck in:

While you're there

If you're visiting the Forest of Dean, keep an eye out this August for the Communitrees. Designed by local school children and created by artists using litter collected from the Forest of Dean floor, they remind people to take their litter home.

Thanks to Black and Blum, Green Pioneer and Abeego for supporting the Love Your Forest campaign.

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