One of Wales’ leading environmental charities has launched its biggest ever initiative to eradicate litter and waste.
Caru Cymru, led by Keep Wales Tidy in partnership with all Local Authorities in Wales, aims to inspire everyone to take action and care for the environment. The charity is calling on people to take responsibility for the litter and waste they produce in a drive to create a cleaner, safer Wales.
While Keep Wales Tidy is renowned for working with an army of volunteers to pick up litter, the charity’s new movement will not just focus on cleaning up, but stopping litter from happening in the first place. The vision for Caru Cymru (a Welsh phrase meaning ‘Love Wales’) is that it will become second nature for people to do the right thing, from taking litter home and cleaning up after their dog, recycling ‘on-the-go’, reusing and repairing.
Speaking about the campaign, Lesley Jones, chief executive of Keep Wales Tidy said: “Every person in Wales has a part to play in eradicating litter and waste which can cause so much damage to our communities and to our natural environment. I’m proud to be part of an initiative which brings people together, and provides the tools, innovation and support needed to make a positive difference.
“Caru Cymru is not an exclusive club – everyone can join in.”
Litter has a significant and far-reaching impact on communities. Keep Wales Tidy has identified that when areas are uncared for it makes people feel unsafe, it affects social cohesion, the sense of pride in communities, stifles economic growth and tourism, and spoils people’s enjoyment of nature. Litter can also cause huge damage to wildlife, green spaces, hedgerows, rivers and oceans.
As the driving force behind Caru Cymru, each council area is putting on a range of programmes and activities responding to the area’s needs, enabling everyone in Wales to get involved, including:
- A campaign to prevent and raise awareness of smoking litter in Blaenau Gwent
- A push to raise awareness of marine litter and dog fouling in Pembrokeshire to protect its beaches
- Household waste recycling centres and repair shops in Powys will be increasing efforts to reuse and repair
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “People in Wales have already proven they care about our country by adopting important recycling habits that now sees us third best in the world for recycling. But there is always more we can do, we must go beyond recycling, and Caru Cymru is about exactly that. Our attitude towards waste needs to stretch beyond not only our homes but to the spaces that make up the villages, towns and cities we live in. By doing so, we can tackle long term litter and waste issues head on and all benefit from a cleaner Wales.”
Caru Cymru’s launch marks the start of a series of projects ranging from large-scale national campaigns to smaller local projects created in conjunction with local authorities, Cardiff University’s behaviour change team and other partners.
Over the coming months, Caru Cymru will be trialing a range of new and innovative solutions to tackle roadside, fast-food and marine related litter, improve air quality and eliminate single use plastic.
People across Wales are being encouraged to join the new movement and can visit Keep Wales Tidy’s website to find out more: www.keepwalestidy.cymru/caru-cymru