Litterpicking & Coronavirus Guidance

Helping Hand Environmental understand a lot of individual volunteers are still wishing to litter pick as part of their daily exercise routines – with many understanding the therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors; boosting the immune system and having a positive impact on your mental health, well-being and the planet.

Following the updated government advice (since our May blog article) – this new litter picking guidance came into effect on the 1st June 2020 and produced in partnership with our friends at Keep Britain Tidy.

This guidance as been prepared to support you and your group volunteers to begin litter picking once again – in the safest way possible. Please only consider resuming litter picking if you are happy to do so – there is no obligation for you to do this.

Litter picking can be carried out alone, in pairs or small groups of up to a maimum of six, including yourself or lead member. This is based on the goverment guidance of meeting up with people outside of your own household at social distance of 2 meters, outdoors only.

Individuals currently sheilding, in ‘at risk’ groups, displaying symptoms, or thouse who have been directly advised to self-isolate should not litter pick.

Litterpicking Alone or in Pairs

Litterpicking by yourself – ideally you should use/have your own gloves and litter picker, however if you wish to handout equipment to volunteers, in your group, ask your volunteers to use their own gloves, and then provide each person with items like litter pickers, hoops, litter carts, hi visiblity vests and cleansing bags. They can either be dropped off or delivered at social distance to your volunteers in a outdoor environment – keeping two meters apart.

If you wish to handout equipment to volunteers in your group, please follow these points:

  • Please supply volunteers with their own kit – litterpicker, hoop and Hi-Vis vests. Ask volunteers to use their own gloves.
  • We would recommend volunteers keep hold of this kit for the foreseeable future, rather than return it after each use so that only they use it.
  • For distribution – please leave litter pickers outside your property with a bottle of household anti-bacterial spray.
  • Please ask volunteers to spray the handle of the litter picker when they collect it and again if returned.
  • If you are loaning out equipment and asking members to return – do not use their equipment for upto 72 hours and store away and spray down equipment after use.
  • Please share the Guidance for volunteers working alone or in pairs (below) with volunteers.

Guidance for volunteers working alone or in pairs

  • Individuals currently shielding, in ‘at risk’ groups or displaying symptoms (or in contact with those with symptoms) or have been directly advised to self-isolate should not litterpick.
  • Use your own gloves and a litter picker. Clean both after use and before storing.
  • Wash hands before and after at home or nearby w/c facilities.
  • Carry hand sanitiser if you have some or anti bac wipes.
  • Stay at least 2 metres from fellow volunteer and members of the public.
  • Don’t pick any more than you can put in your own bin at home.
  • Be conscious of of collecting PPE litter – disposable gloves, face mask and hand wipes.
  • Don’t pick up sharps/syringes – report to your local authority for collection.
  • Litter is to be tied up in strong waste sack and put in your general household waste/wheelie bin at home – outdoor bin only.

Small Group Activity upto 6 people

As of 1st June, a small group is defined as a maximum of six people (including the Group Leader), however, this number may increase or decrease over time – please follow changes to Government guidance.

  • You will need to check that your Local Authority are currently able to collect your clean up’s litter. If they don’t have capacity to do this, then you will need to fit all litter collect into your general waste/wheelie bin at home.
  • As summer approaches, be aware that certain areas could be very busy so you may want to consider the timing of clean ups e.g. in the evening and avoiding weekend times.
  • Be aware of any areas with lots of people congregating. Keep social distancing and wash hands after touching shared surfaces.
  • Observe social distancing, particularly at start and end of event when equipment being handed out/collected and during the safety briefing, which should be held outside at all times.
  • Provide hand sanitiser or ask volunteers to bring their own.
  • Signing in should be carried out by the group leader – completing a form themselves rather than sharing pen and paper or online preferably.
  • First Aid Treatment – please see current advice from St. John Ambulance https://www.sja.org.uk/get-advice/first-aid-advice/covid-19-advice-for-first-aiders/
  • Any returned equipment should be sanitised at the end of each event and kept for a 72 hours period for decontainmentation, stored away from others.
  • The group leader should bring spare new clean gloves which people can take home and use.
  • Share the Guidance below with Volunteers ahead of the clean up.

Guidance for Volunteers working in small groups

  • Individuals currently shielding, in ‘at risk’ groups or displaying symptoms (or in contact with those with symptoms) or have been directly advised to self-isolate should not litterpick.
  • Bring your own gloves and ideally your own litter picker
  • Wash hands before and after at home or nearby w/c facilities.
  • Carry hand sanitiser if you have access to some.
  • Stay at least 2 metres from fellow volunteers and members of the public.
  • Don’t pick up sharps.
  • Litter to be tied up in strong waste sack.
  • If taking a litterpicker home at end of clean up, please sanitize before storing away for 72 hours before use again.

If you need further help, our team are working remotely from home but are still at the end of the phone, if we can answer any questions/enquiries – do give Helping Hand Environmental a call, 01531 635678. 

To further support you during this time. We have a range of litter picking guides in our Download section offer volunteers discounted equipment order forms for safer litter collection -which featured products like our NEW folding Safe Pick Litter Picker and Sharp Pouch to help you undertake your solo litter picks; with safety and confidence.

Most importantly from everyone at Helping Hand Environmental, stay safe 🙂