#PlasticFreeJuly – Helping Hand Environmental Top Tips

As part of #plasticfreejuly campaign, Helping Hand Environmental been attempting to cut back on unnecessary single use plastics.

So, how do you keep that momentum going? Here are 5 ways to keep the momentum up when it all feels a bit bleak or you are unsure on handle single use plastics:


Whilst initiatives such as Plastic Free July are a fab starting point, the momentum can start to diminish as soon as the next monthly challenge takes centre stage.  We read books like ‘No more plastic’ by Martin Dorey and ‘How to Live Plastic Free’ by Marine Conservation Society, we look at heart-breaking photographs and watch programmes like Blue Planet, follow influence bloggers on Twitter. Remind yourself why you are trying to become Plastic Free at home and at work.


We use 300 MILLION TONNES of plastic each year. Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Less than half of plastic bottles used in the UK are recycled – and over 150 plastic bottles litter each mille of UK beaches. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually. It’s estimated that there is now 5.25 trillion macro and micro plastic pieces floating around in the open ocean.

We can all lend a helping hand in the fight against plastics!


Getting outside and seeing plastic litter first-hand.  Some fun initiatives include Plogging which combines jogging and picking up litter – you’d be amazed how much rubbish you can collect in half hour! Other amazing examples include #PlasticFreeCoastlines run by Surfers Against Sewage, The Great Plastic Pick Up, run by Keep Britain Tidy and the awesome Martin Dorey’s #2minutebeachclean concept and boards including the NEW #2minutestreetclean and #2minutelitterpick


A Plastic Planet  say ‘There will always be a need for plastic – medical science, aviation, technology, car industries – where plastic can more easily be reclaimed and kept within a closed recycling loop. Single use, especially for food and drink, is not defensible.’

The real issue is single use plastics – plastic cups, straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles, milk bottles, cutlery etc. Do we need such lazy products in our life and buy using and buying such products we are encouraging and support the use of this throwaway items which just end up in landfills. Lastly it is important we support brands which are making a difference – A Plastic Planet, Iceland, Morrison’s, Simply Cups, Coca-Cola, Costa, Harrogate Spring Water and all doing awesome things!


Reduce, reuse, recycle- has been in our lives for decades. Completely eradicating all single-use plastics from your work/home overnight isn’t realistic. Think about where you can reuse it, and move on to recycling as much as humanly possible if all else fails.

More companies are moving towards plant-based ‘plastics’, but for this to be a success in the future, there needs to be more industrial composting sites, and more councils offering food waste collections. As a business Helping Hand Environmental are do our bit, for example we save 850 plastic milk bottles ending up in landfill every year by having reusable glass bottles which are collected, washed and reused again.




Helping Hand Environmental support 50th Clean Up Hero

Helping Hand Environmental have supported 50 Clean Up Scotland Heroes.

Keep Scotland Beautiful have been delighted to have Helping Hand Environmental support the Hero of the Month award. They kindly donate all the kits given out to litter picking heroes across Scotland.

Since 2013, each month we have celebrated an individual or group who have gone above and beyond with their litter picking efforts. Helping Hand Environmental have supported the Hero of the Month award since 2014.

In April we celebrated our 50th Hero in partnership with them, read the full story here. Altogether we have celebrated heroes in 25 local authorities across Scotland.

Lindsay Richmond, the Community Manager from Helping Hand Environmental commented: “The Helping Hand Company have been privileged to sponsor and support the Hero of the Month award for the last four years and in that time we have helped to reward and recognise over 50 Scottish heroes who have all given up their time to help Keep Scotland Beautiful. This initiative; part of the Clean Up Scotland campaign is a wonderful way to say thank you and nominate individuals of any age – so they get the recognition they deserve as Litter Heroes ”

This year Keep Scotland Beautiful are supporting the Scotland’s Year of Young People by making all our Hero of the Months aged 11-26. Do you have a young hero in mind that we could celebrate? Download our nomination form and email it in to cleanup@keepscotlandbeautiful.org.

Check out all our previous heroes here.


The Great Plastic Pick Up launched by Daily Mail

The Daily Mail is proud to announce a national campaign to get Britain picking up plastic litter.

The Great Plastic Pick Up campaign — organised in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy — has been endorsed by Prime Minister and Sir David Attenborough.

Britain’s streets, beaches and countryside are suffering from a plague of litter. As Sir David has warned, plastic pollution is turning our seas into a ‘toxic soup’ that’s lethal to wildlife in his recent Blue Planet series.

So on Friday, May 11; Saturday, May 12; and Sunday, May 13, the Daily Mail urges readers to take part in The Great Plastic Pick Up, joining their friends, family, colleagues, schools and communities to tackle this blight.

Endorsing The Great Plastic Pick Up, the Prime Minister said: ‘Plastic waste is one of the great environmental scourges of our time, and this will help communities to make a real difference by encouraging everyone to do their bit to pick up litter in their area.’

Now the Mail’s stepping up its war on plastic with The Great Plastic Pick Up — a weekend where we’re helping communities, schools, families and individuals across the UK come together to clear plastic and litter from our beaches, beauty spots and streets. Wherever you live, you can make a difference by sparing just a few hours to pick up plastic bottles, cans and general litter and dispose of it safely. We’re also calling for schools nationwide to do their part.

It’s so simple to sign up — and you could win amazing prizes worth thousands of pounds that could make a huge difference to your community. What’s more, if you are one of the first 3,000 people or schools to join, we’ll send you a special pack of recyclable litter bags to get you started — so act today.

When is it happening?

The Mail’s Great Plastic Pick Up will run from the beginning of Friday, May 11, to the end of Sunday, May 13. It is a weekend when communities across the country will get together in small groups to pick up rubbish — with a specific mission to remove the plastic that poisons our streets, parks and public areas. Of course we’ll be getting rid of other litter, too — giving the whole country a spring clean in time for the Royal Wedding weekend.

Where Do I Sign Up?

Go to www.greatplasticpickup.org where you’ll find all the information you need. You can either sign up to organise a pick-up or join one already going on in your area. You just need to provide your name, address and email.

Anyone can get involved — no matter how old or young (though children should be accompanied by a responsible adult).

You can also choose to pick up litter on your own if you don’t want to join a group.

Need Equipment?

Helping Hand Environmental have a range of dedicated litterpickers, kits and tools to support the campaign. Please contact our team on 01531 635678 and quote SPRINGSAVERS to receive your discount. Our check out our online shop www.HHEnvironmental.co.uk/shop



Clean Up Britain launch Now or Never Campaign

A ground-breaking and innovative environmental behavioural change community campaign was launched today in Leamington Spa as part of Clean Up Britain’s project

The campaigning group chosen topic – it’s one most people have no clue about with hard hitting imaginary of animals being hurt or killed by litter. Litter is costing us in more ways than one, the time to act is now – 

The 12 month campaign which has its own dedicated website www.ItsNoworNever.org.uk  will be tackling litter head on, and other important, related topics – single use plastics, disposable coffee cups, fly-tipping and local businesses impact on the environment.

Clean Up Britain will be working closely with Warwick Business School Behavioural Science Group, Warwick District Council, community groups and other supporting partners to test out a variety of campaign approaches and nudges to encourage people to do the right thing.

Watch the video for further details… https://vimeo.com/265726238?ref=tw-share

Follow the campaign via the hashtags #litterkills and #cleanupbritain


Renfrewshire’s Street Stuff presented with our sponsored Hero of the Month award

Youth project recognised for helping Keep Scotland Beautiful in Year of Young People.

Street Stuff, a Renfrewshire youth initiative, has been presented with the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of its efforts to engage young people in improving the litter, graffiti and dog fouling levels in their own communities.

Part of our Clean Up Scotland campaign the award acknowledges Street Stuff’s work to help reduce youth disorder and to instill responsibility in young people.

Street Stuff volunteers and coaching staff from St Mirren FC have assisted Renfrewshire Council with community clean up activities, including removing graffiti from public spaces and spraying dog fouling with paint to make it more visible – highlighting the problem.

Nicola Perrat (16) said: “Street Stuff gives me the opportunity to meet new people and get involved in activities I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to. It’s fun taking part in Team Up to Clean Up campaign and I enjoy being able to make a difference to the local community.”

Jay Gibson (16) said: “It’s really important that we keep our local environment clean, tidy and free of litter. Taking part in the clean ups and dog fouling initiatives are fun and it’s good knowing you are making a difference.”

Nicola and Jay, along with other young people from Street Stuff joined us and Cllr Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, Gordon Scott, St Mirren FC Chairman, and Lindsay Richmond-Kearns of Helping Hand Environmental at St Mirren Park to be presented with the award. An image from the presentation can be accessed here.

Gordon Scott, St Mirren FC Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Hero of the Month and it’s testament to the work of the Street Stuff volunteers and staff.

“We’re proud to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and will continue to work hard to improve Renfrewshire’s environment for the benefit of the entire community.”

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Street Stuff have been named as the 50th recipient of the Hero of the Month Award.

“The work volunteers and staff do to engage local children and provide them with activities they may not normally have the opportunity to undertake is fantastic, and has been extremely successful since its inception in 2009.

“They are making a real difference to the local community through participating in litter picks, removing graffiti from shop fronts and supporting the Team Up to Clean Up dog fouling initiative.

“With £2.5million being invested across the next five years, we hope that many local community groups will be able to follow in Street Stuff’s footsteps as we continue to advance the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and make a tangible improvement to the quality of Renfrewshire’s environment.”

Heather McLaughlin, one of our Community Project Officers added: “High levels of graffiti, litter and flytipping are closely linked to community safety. By helping to tackle litter in their local area, Street Stuff, its participants and volunteers have all helped to make their local area both cleaner and safer for all of its residents.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are armies of volunteers all across Scotland working very hard to clean up and green up their local area. Clean Up Scotland can help to support their efforts as well as recognising the contribution made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”

Lindsay Richmond-Kearns, Communities Manager at Helping Hand Environmental, which provides a clean up kit to each monthly hero commented: “We are delighted to present Street Stuff with this award. I would like to commend them for successfully improving and delivering significant local environmental improvements in Renfrewshire.

“Helping Hand has been privileged to sponsor the Hero of the Month award in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful since 2014, and have rewarded 50 Scottish Heroes to date”

Do you know a local Clean Up hero? Why not nominate them for a Hero of the Month award?

Clean Up Scotland Sticker Competition Winner Announced

Scottish school pupils help stick it to litter

Students presented with design prizes from Keep Scotland Beautiful

Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has today (Wednesday 28 February) announced the winners of its Scotland-wide competition for school pupils to design the stickers which help support the Clean Up Scotland campaign – an initiative which aims to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe.

Schools across Scotland were challenged to design a sticker which said thank you to the thousands of Clean Up Scotland volunteers helping to remove rubbish from the countryside, seaside and roadsides. The competition received over 1,200 entries which were then judged by Keep Scotland Beautiful with the help of Helping Hand Environmental – British manufacturer of litter clearance hand tools and Clean Up Scotland preferred equipment supplier.

Three entries were selected, with P7 pupil Zoe Barbour from Sandford Primary, South Lanarkshire receiving the top prize. Followed closely by runners up Rachael Martin (P7) from St Peter’s Primary, North Ayrshire and Khabeerah Adams (P7) from Lourdes Primary, Glasgow.

Ellen Jack, Headteacher at Sandford Primary School, commented:

“The school community is delighted for Zoe and her recent success in the Clean Up Scotland sticker competition. It was a pleasure to participate in this competition, allowing the pupils to explore their creativity whilst thinking about the environment.”

Zoe was presented with her prize, a school Clean Up kit by Helping Hand Environmental and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Carly Di Crescienzo, UK Sales Manager at Helping Hand Environmental, commented:

“Helping Hands are super proud to be involved in such a worthwhile project to engage young minds in a fun and interactive way. We are delighted again to be working to Clean Up Scotland for 2018 in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, a charity totally committed to making our world a better place.”

Heather McLaughlin, Community Projects Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter the Clean Up Scotland sticker competition. All entries were fantastic, which made the judging particularly difficult, and we look forward to seeing Zoe’s design featuring on Clean Up Scotland stickers that go to all registered clean up participants this year.

“Volunteers all across Scotland work hard to transform the places that they live, work and play. If you want to get your hands on one of Zoe’s stickers, all you need to do is register your Clean Up event on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website to receive your Clean Up pack.”

To register your Clean Up event, all volunteers need to do is visit: www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland and sign up. All registered events will receive protective tabards, Clean Up Scotland posters and stickers.

For more information about the competition: https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/news/local-environmental-quality/clean-up-scotland/clean-up-scotland-sticker-competition/



Join us on the 2-4 March 2018 #GBSpringClean

In 2017 Keep Britain Tidy launched the first-ever, and hugely successful, Great British Spring Clean.  Together an army of #LitterHeroes cleaned up the country –  more than 300,000 people, across 13,000 organised events to clear more than 1,500 tonnes of litter from our streets, parks and beaches. By working together with nearly 300 local authorities, as well as businesses, schools, charities and community groups.

The campaign made a real splash, featuring on national TV, national newspapers, thousands of stories on local radio and papers, and even trending at number three on twitter.

The campaign is back for 2018 – with an ambition to make it even bigger and better. So save the date and on March 2-4 join Keep Britain Tidy for the Great British Spring Clean 2018, and help us make it even bigger. Or if you are taking part in Wales the campaign will kick off on St David’s Day organised by Keep Wales Tidy.

What’s more: Helping Hand Environmental have been selected as official equipment suppliers for 2018 where you can get a range of bespoke litterpickers and campaign vests. And find out more on our dedicated campaign page https://www.hhenvironmental.co.uk/community/

The Great British Spring Clean is the perfect way to get out in your community and make a difference. Every little bit helps…for more information on how you and/or your community can get involved, visit http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/


Live Here Love Here Litter Heroes Celebrated

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful hosted the second Live Here Love Here Community Awards in Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office.

The event, compered by Lesser Spotted Ulster star Joe Mahon, was filled with inspirational tales from volunteers who have and continue to instil pride in the local communities through practical environmental action.

The fourteen award winners, aged 5 to 77, showed that caring for your local environment and working to make a change is a passion that spans all generations. From regular litter picks to the creation of shared community spaces these unsung heroes dedicate their time and efforts into making where we live cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable.

The awards celebrated work such as litter picks, community involvement and going above and beyond all expectations. The bespoke award pieces, handmade out of recycled materials, were created using unplugged methods by David Keys Sustainable Woodcraft.

Helping Hand Environmental are delighted to be working in partnership with Live Here Love Here and enjoyed celebrating and honouring all the winners and finalists. We even developed bespoke Litterpickers for host Joe Mahon and Joyce Ferder Rankin.

The full list of WINNERS can be found below:

Live Here Love Here Award Winners

Antrim and Newtownabbey Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mentions: Ruairi McCormack – Tidy Randalstown, Suzanne Winters – Tidy Randalstown
Winner: Tidy Randalstown

Ards and North Down Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mention: Millisle Youth Forum
Winner: Beach Cleaners – Ards and North Down

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mention: Magheralin Community Association
Winner: Peter McKernan, Banbridge Ramblers

Belfast City Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mention: Springhill Live Here Love Here Garden Group
Winner: St. Mary’s CBGS Eco Club

Derry City and Strabane Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mention: Clady Cross Community Development Association
Winner: John Lennon, Action on Hearing Loss Volunteer

Fermanagh and Omagh Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mention: Frances Mitchell, Gortin Community Garden
Winner: Camowen Community Anglers

Mid and East Antrim Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mentions: Brighter Whitehead and Friends of Bashfordlands Wood and Oakfield Glen
Winner: Nicholas Davis, Larne Renovation Generation

Mid Ulster Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mentions: Blessed Patrick O’Laughran PS Eco Council, Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society and Screen Eco- Schools
Winner: Brénainn Brunton, St Columba’s PS Straw

Newry, Mourne and Down Litter Heroes Award

Honorary Mentions: Coastal Guardian Volunteers (Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership), Love Your Lough
Winner: Charlie and the Hamilton-Cooper Family

Adopt A Spot Award presented by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Honorary Mention: Ulidia Integrated College Eco Team (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council)
Winner: AES Kilroot Green Team (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council)

Good Neighbour Award presented by Choice Housing

Honorary Mentions: Kenny Henry (The Conservation Volunteers) (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council) and Brighter Whitehead (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council)
Winner: Springhill Live Here Love Here Garden Group (Belfast City Council)

Community Together Award presented by Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Honorary Mentions: Clady Cross Community Development Association (Derry City and Strabane District Council) and Mae Murray Foundation (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council)
Winner: Magheralin Community Association (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council)

BIG Transformation Award presented by McDonald’s

Honorary Mention: Campsie Residents Association (Fermanagh and Omagh District Council)
Winner: Millisle Youth Forum (Ards and North Down Borough Council)

Spirit of Live Here Love Here Award presented by Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Honorary Mention: Brenainn Brunton (Mid Ulster District Council)
Winner: Screen Eco-Schools (Mid Ulster District Council)

Find out more at http://www.liveherelovehere.org/cgi-bin/greeting?instanceID=1

Costa Coffee Reading Week Design a Litterpicker Competition a Huge Success

Back in September we worked in partnership with 550 Costa stores each  hosting a Costa Reading Week between 11th & 17th September 2017 and for all pupils, parents and staff who have been selected will be sent a school’s  delivery pack.

Through the 550 Costa stores involved, more than 33,000 children across the UK will benefit from the project!

Helping Hand Environmental created a Design Your Own Litter Picker competition entry form where pupils could not only design their own equipment, but also see the winning design come to life when Helping Hand manufacture the design and present it to the winners!

We received so many entries from across the Unite Kingdom from pupils of all ages we had a very difficult task of selecting just one winner. Instead we decided to have x3 national runners up these included:

  1. Amelia Munroe, from Niton Primary School, Cowes, Isle of Wight
  2. Callie McMinn, from Laurieknowle Primary, Dumfries, Scotland
  3. Grace Evans, from St Josephs RC High School, Newport, Wales


Throughout December we have been presenting our three national runners up – and just before Christmas we had the privilege of presenting the overall winner St Edwards Primary School, Plymouth to Chloe Barratt who developed a Fox Theme Litterpicker in support of the Costa Reading Week resources – Barney & Echo.

Helping Hand’s Dan Miller was supported during the winners presentation by Callum from Costa Plymouth and Neil from Keep Britain Tidy Beachcare programme. Chloe was also joined at the surprise celebration assembly by her parents.

Christmas Shutdown Dates

Helping Hand Environmental want to ensure every customer is guaranteed their order in time the festive season. Should you need any products in time for Christmas, place your order by:

Monday 11th December for personalised or non standard AND
Monday 18th December for ex stock items.

Plus ALL orders over £150 will receive FREE Christmas delivery. Call our Sales Team today on 01531 635678.

The Helping Hand Company will close for business on Thursday 21st December and reopen on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. 

We will still be accepting online orders online during our Christmas Shutdown period, but we will not be processing your order until we return to work on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your custom throughout 2017 and wish you a very Merry Christmas & New Year!