Pollution and Recycling

Litter Picking

Many Rotary clubs are carrying out litter picks and beach cleans and they are a visible way of helping to protect the environment.  The effectiveness of these litter picks can be increased by:

  • separating recyclables from waste for landfill
  • working with schools or community groups to reduce the amount of litter dropped
  • working with local authorities and parish councils to improve the provision of litter bins.

There are some larger scale initiatives. Preventing Plastic Pollution is a European programme to research the nature of plastic pollution and recommend action to address it and in particular to reduce the amount of plastic reaching the sea.  In the UK the catchment of the Great Ouse is the area of study and Rotary clubs can assist by carrying out litter picks, categorisising the results and submitting the data for analysis.


Supporting charities which make use of possessions that are no longer needed can combine support for the environment with other areas of focus.  For example charities helping to rehouse the homeless take in second hand furniture, foodbanks welcome donations of food, and there are charities which reuse things like tools (Tools with a Mission ), toys and computers in developing countries.

Becton andSutton and Cheam Rotary Clubs make reusable fabric bags to replace plastic ones either for sale or distribution for use by local charities


In addition to the normal local authority recycling programmes, There are ways of ensuring that many other streams of waste are recycled rather than end up in landfill.  Many of these can be found on the Terracycle website which includes schemes for recycling things such as: soft plastic, laundry product containers, medical blister packs, crisp packets and many more.  Rotary clubs can collect these items from members and their friends or even the wider community and take them to the nearest drop off point shown on the website.  For some products they ccould set up a new drop off point in a public location with the cooperation of the owner and arrange for the materials to be despatched.