View the Facebook gallery of the #Street2Sea art taking shape at Kings Cross, London
In partnership with Lidl, we have unveiled a unique artwork depicting the damage urban litter causes to our beaches
and treasured marine wildlife, as part of a new campaign #Street2Sea aimed at
As a new survey demonstrates that young
people hold themselves primarily responsible for littering, we have joined forces with pioneering ‘clean
art’ specialist ‘Moose’ (aka
Paul Curtis) to raise awareness of how urban litter finds its way into our
waterways and causes harm to the nation’s marine life and animals
Over the past few days Moose has brought the
ocean with some of the most loved and recognisable creatures - fish, turtles
and seabirds - into the heart of one of the capital’s busiest location, the
world famous King’s Cross Railway Station.
In a world first, Moose has used observations
of members of the public dropping litter in the street and recreated the
rubbish within the image, systematically destroying the artwork and obliterating
the marine wildlife, in a dramatic representation of the impact that litter has
in the marine environment.
With 80% of marine litter originating
from land and more than 2 million pieces of litter dropped on our streets every
day, littering remains a significant and growing environmental issue within the
We want the
eye-catching installation to draw young people’s attention to the fact that
littering is not in fact a victimless crime.
year numerous reports of marine wildlife injured or killed by litter are
recorded. Our native marine wildlife including fish, seabirds, turtles and
seals are all at risk with research showing that almost 700 species have been
recorded coming into contact with man-made litter and debris, 17% of which are
threatened or critically endangered. With statistics showing that up to 90% of
seabirds and 60% of turtles have plastic in their stomachs causing death and
injury, it’s clear that desperate action is required.
Meanwhile, a new survey,
undertaken by Toluna for Keep Britain Tidy, showed that more than 60% of young
people grow up in areas affected by litter and rubbish in the UK. It also found
that whilst young people hold themselves predominantly responsible for
littering, they were also ready to offer solutions including increasing the
number of bins, introducing higher fines and returnable deposits on soft drinks
bottles to discourage littering.
Currently, around £1bn of taxpayers’ money
is spent cleaning Britain’s streets every year. Without the influx of litter,
money could be used to provide much needed support to 33,000 nurses or more
than 4,000 libraries. In the London borough of Camden – where the striking
installation is taking place – the council spends an astonishing £8.36 million
a year to keep the streets clean, as a result of the seven tonnes of litter
amassed in the area every day.
As part of the
new campaign, we will be asking young people to take
photographs of litter in their neighbourhoods and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #Street2Sea, along with ideas on how littering can be
In addition, a
timelapse video of the artwork created and ultimately destroyed by Moose will
be incorporated into a new and engaging resource pack on the issue of littering
This initiative is part of Lidl UK’s wider CSR
programme, and commitment to donate a minimum of £1m over a 12-month period with
the proceeds from its single-use carrier bags to be split equally between Keep
Britain Tidy and Lidl UK’s other ongoing charity partner CLIC Sargent.
Commenting at the unveiling of the
installation, Moose said: "There’s a huge volume of people passing though
the King’s Cross area, but the litter remains a constant, no matter how many
times the waste collection vehicles pass by. It was my goal to create something
beautiful and natural, and let people make their own minds up about the
underlying message the image carries as they peer in closer.
"Although I am
letting people create their own story within the imagery, using pollution as a
medium always carries a message of its own. I’ve put a lot of love into creating
the stencils, despite knowing that they would be trampled on and destroyed as
we cover them with pieces of litter as they are being dropped. From my
experience, people in London seem very desensitised to litter, and they don't
relate their action of dropping litter to the harm it ultimately does to the
environment. By bringing marine wildlife to the doorsteps of Londoners, I
wanted to dramatise the real and lethal impact the urban community is having on
hundreds of these innocent marine creatures.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison
Ogden-Newton said: “Littering is
not a victimless crime and many young people who drop it in urban environments
have little idea that it can migrate into waterways and seriously damage
wildlife. Thanks to the support of Lidl UK we are once again able to work with
another very talented and innovative artist, Moose, who has made it his mission
to transform polluted areas into clean art, and is helping us to mobilise the
British public in a very engaging way.”
Lidl UK’s CEO Ronny Gottschlich, said: “As one of Britain’s major grocery retailers, we are acutely conscious
of our responsibilities to society and the environment. As proud supporters of Keep
Britain Tidy, we are very pleased to be involved in an initiative that urges the
nation and in particular the next generation to be mindful of the serious harm
litter can cause to the natural world. In our commitment to creating ‘a better
tomorrow’ we want to inspire people to play a part in protecting the country’s
extremely valuable and irreplaceable natural wildlife.”
Keep Britain Tidy is a registered Charity No. 1071737. Registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 3496361. Registered office at Elizabeth House, The Pier, Wigan, WN3 4EX.
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