A shop stocked purely with litter has opened in Gloucestershire in a bid to encourage people to drop less rubbish.
The “CON-venience” store is stocked with litter from collected from the floor of the Forest of Dean, to demonstrate the quantity and permanence of litter that is dropped.
Decades-old crisp packets, drink cans and bottles are featured in the installation, with some items dating back as far as the 1970s – although none of it is actually available to buy.
Each year 250 tonnes of rubbish are removed from the Forest of Dean alone and this costs local tax-payers more than £400,000 annually.
Glenn Redwood, local resident and project co-ordinator said: “Having lived in the district all my life it saddens me to see litter and fly tipping throughout the beautiful Forest. The litter issues need to be tackled in a way that raises awareness to the problem and the consequences it has on our countryside. People are not thinking about what they are doing when littering and a litter campaign will hopefully make them think before throwing litter away carelessly.”
But the new shop, the brainchild of social enterprise foundation Hubbub and art collective Dirty Beach, is aiming to draw attention to the issue and make people think twice about chucking their rubbish.
The shop is part of Hubbub’s Love Your Forest campaign, encouraging locals and visitors to the Gloucestershire forest to take good care of it.
As well as the shop, a fridge of litter has been placed in the forest – showcasing the “real fruits of the forest” – and faces will be attached to a number of trees.
The Communitrees project originated from the community led anti-crime campaign 10,000 Eyes in Rotterdam. This involved eyes painted on the streets, public places and buildings to let the neighbourhood know that someone is always watching.
Some 100 faces, designed by local children as part of a competition, will be put up on trees in the Forest.
Trewin Restorick, CEO and founder of Hubbub said: “Hubbub is taking a fresh approach to fight the blight of littering in the beautiful Forest of Dean. Over the next six months we will be testing new ways to persuade people not to drop litter.
“Launching the litter shop will raise local awareness and is the launch of a range of community based campaigns that will create a cleaner forest.”
Marrilyn Smart, Forest of Dean District Council cabinet member for the environment, which includes waste and recycling, added: “We are pleased to host the pilot project in our district to raise awareness of littering. We encourage residents to visit the litter shop and learn about the issues caused by the irresponsible disposal of waste.
“The council takes littering very seriously. Not only is this practice illegal and anti-social but it clearly impacts on the local environment in which we live and work, can be harmful to wildlife and is potentially damaging to tourism in the area.”