#StreetsAhead is a creative approach to tackling in coastal towns

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside... as long as we're not decked out next to a pile of old crisp packets and drinks bottles.

In 2017, 8 out of 10 people surveyed in Brighton and Hove were fed up with the amount of litter on the streets. Brighton and Hove City Council stepped up to tackle the issue, and together we created the #StreetsAhead campaign.

We built on insights from our #FFSLDN campaign and the impact of Blue Planet II, to develop our core message: 'litter dropped on the street or left on the beaches ends up in the sea'.

80% of ocean plastic comes from land

A giant fish made out of litter, a bright banner on Paradise Pier, three pieces of grate art, and bin vinyls all over the beach and City Centre all displayed the same messages:

  • 35% of fish caught off the British coast have plastic in their gut
  • 80% of the ocean plastic comes from the land
  • For fish’s sake, don’t drop litter!

Bright bins keeping litter out of pebbles, gutters and pavements

We brightened up over 90 bins with colourful vinyls displaying messaging which encouraged people to use the bin, not the pebbles, gutter or pavement. Throughout the town we installed voting bins and put stickers on staircases leading to and from the beach, gently reminding people to bin their litter.

Over 2,000 people clean up Brighton and Hove

Binning your own litter is one thing, but we wanted to know if people would be willing to pick up litter from the ground and bin it! We ran a simple experiment and planted some litter on the ground next to a bin. The result? In one hour 1296 people walked past the bottle, but five people didn’t! We gave those five people a little thank you and created this video to show off our five litter heroes online.

We also encouraged the people of Brighton and Hove to pick up litter by organising the UK’s first silent disco beach clean in collaboration with Pier 2 Pier Beach Clean. 100 disco fans turned up. They hit the beach with some funky moves, a set of headphones & a litter picker and together collected over a quarter of a tonne of litter! If you’re keen for a boogie, the silent disco litter pick now takes place every few months or so, find out more here.

Transforming an ice-cream cart into a Trash Converter allowed people to swap a piece of rubbish for sweets or a postcard by a local artist. The idea originated in our Love Your Forest campaign and was well received in Brighton and Hove. During the campaign over 1500 people traded trash for treats, and due to its popularity you can still spot it around town on a regular basis.

Sharing learnings - read the full impact report

So far over 2000 people have been involved in the campaign, 250+ partners promoted it, 37 local businesses and community groups participated and 20 pieces of press coverage have been published. You can read the full impact report here:

We’re working together with the Council to bring #StreetsAhead to Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s football stadium later this year, and in the meantime the Council have lots more fun activities up their sleeve, so keep an eye out for #StreetsAhead.

Would you like to know more about this campaign, or explore how we could work together to reduce litter in your area? Send an e-mail to [email protected] and let’s chat.