Birmingham Litter Charter launched

Local businesses are being invited to sign up to a new charter designed by the city council to help keep Birmingham clean and green.

The Birmingham Litter Charter was discussed during a summit staged in the city today with fast food retailer Big John’s and pub chain Wetherspoon  the first organisations to pledge their support to the initiative.

Reducing waste from businesses and their customers is the key aim of the scheme, with a particular focus on fast-food, cigarette and cash machine receipt related litter. Under the charter, Big John’s and Wetherspoon are leading the way, having pledged to help by:

– Changing public behaviour by promoting the anti-littering message
– Reviewing and reducing packaging
– Managing and collecting litter generated from the business
– Disposing of business waste responsibly

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “As government cuts begin to bite, we’ve got to find new ways of keeping the city clean, with less money. Collaborative working via a voluntary agreement such as our new Birmingham Litter Charter is the best way forward to help make the city as clean and green as possible.

“We all benefit from, or are disadvantaged by, the state of our local environment, and we all need to play our part in maintaining or improving its standard – this applies equally to businesses and local councils. This voluntary code, as outlined in the charter, is not intended to be prescriptive, but instead aims to promote a framework of recommendations for all parties to work together to find the best solutions to achieving a cleaner, more pleasant place to do business.”

The code provides a framework for businesses to firstly identify how, when and where their worst litter problems arise, and secondly to work out the best ways in partnership with other agencies to solve these issues. Solutions could, for example, be as simple as putting up posters in windows to discourage customers from littering, storing waste correctly, and keeping the premises and surrounding area clean.

Some businesses are also sponsoring the new generation of solar powered compacting litter bins and having these sited in the vicinity of their businesses and then potentially using the bin for advertising purposes.

These measures will closely complement the Government’s commitment to develop a system to improve the quality of the environment, and also support the legal principle that the ‘polluter pay’ in relation to any kind of waste pollution.

Cllr McKay added: “Any business or organisation that signs up to this initiative deserves to have their commitment and effort championed. We will support and promote them through the city council’s website. I look forward to many more following the excellent example set by Big John’s and J D Wetherspoon.”

Phil Edmonds, manager of Wetherspoon city centre pub The Square Peg, said: ”This is an excellent initiative and one that we wholeheartedly support. Wetherspoon prides itself on ensuring that its pubs as well as the areas outside the pubs are kept clean at all times. This scheme will hopefully encourage other businesses to follow suit and make Birmingham a spotless city.”

Businesses interested in more information on Street Litter Control Notices or the voluntary code should visit