Combatting Littering with Customised Packaging

Littering is a load of rubbish. Here’s how you can kick it to the curb with the help of customised packaging.

It looks like things are getting back to normal, but if there’s one thing we don’t want to return to, it’s littering. 75% of people globally have admitted to littering in the last five years. While that might come as something of a surprise — given that people generally think that littering is a reprehensible act — Britains parks, beaches, streets, and countryside bear the evidence.

Littering costs local councils £700 million every year and can stigmatise your brand if your packaging is frequently littered, so what can your brand do to help people act more responsibly once they’re finished with their takeaways? 

What Are the Best Ways to Combat Littering?

Takeaway food and drink packaging dominate ocean plastic pollution. It can be upsetting to think that the customers you’re serving might not dispose of your takeaway packaging correctly, but it’s up to you to try and change their attitudes and behaviour and save the planet.

There are some amazing examples of anti-litter campaigns from around the world that have proven incredibly effective at reducing littering in various global communities. Here are some takeaway points you can use to counteract littering:

1. Promote Your Cause on Social Media

You might not want to go as far as calling out litterers on Instagram — even though it might make you go viral — but you can use your platform for good. Giving your followers a gentle reminder to take their litter to the right bin will benefit your business, the environment and your local community. 

2. Build the Right Bin-frastructure

Part of the reason people litter is because they can’t find — or sometimes, can’t be bothered to find — a suitable place to dispose of their rubbish. In a 2020 report by WRAP, bins set out by food and drink businesses significantly reduced litter at various entrances and exits to establishments, proving how much convenience plays a part in the responsible disposal of the rubbish.

With this in mind, try to make life that much easier for everyone and highlight your refuse areas. This will allow even the most “care-free” individuals to do the right thing and dispose of their waste responsibly. Not only will this help to reduce littering, but it’ll also boost recycling, helping your packaging go even further than before. 

3. Make It Fun

It’s a little bit cliché, but it genuinely works. Gamification — the act of taking elements from a typical game and repurposing them to enhance an otherwise mundane experience — has proven itself to be a creative and highly effective way to reduce littering. Placing waste bins at convenient locations is the first step, but giving your customers an added incentive to dispose of their rubbish responsibly adds another dimension to waste management. 

From Ballot Bins for cigarette buts to targets in bins in drive-through car parks, there are plenty of ways to make something as simple as waste disposal a memorable experience for customers and members of the public.

4. Lead By Example

Fast-food chains have some of the most heavily littered packagings out of all kinds of takeaway businesses, but KFC is to train all 28,000 of its UK staff to tackle litter. Local authorities had reported an increase in littering since the first national lockdown, spurring the global fast-food chain to respond with their own strategies to contain the problem. 

Similarly, you can help improve your community’s issues with litter through education. Our customisable packaging can include helpful information and compelling reasons to recycle alongside vibrant designs that will capture the imagination of your customers.

For some top-tier content, take some mouth-watering shots of your food and drinks products along with their recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Use these in conjunction with some anti-littering hashtags and politely remind people how your conveniently disposable takeaway packaging helps protect the environment.

Can Customised Packaging Help Reduce Littering?

Littering isn’t just an eyesore; it costs local governments millions of pounds to clean up the mess and has a seriously negative impact on the environment. Plastic waste kills 100 million marine animals every year, most of which could’ve been recycled if it had been disposed of properly. More education and better infrastructure are needed to help people take responsibility for their waste, but you can help make a difference with the way you use your packaging.

Using custom packaging can promote environmental awareness and help your customers create a better community. An eye-catching custom design can significantly benefit your business too. It’ll boost brand recognition and help you outcompete your rivals, allowing you to make your mark as an eco-conscious business that cares about your customers, the community and the planet.

Looking for a cost-effective way to clamp down on littering and boost your brand? Get in touch with our expert design team today via phone or email and get a free design quote.