Litter teams set to work in keep Love Where You Live campaign

Keep Britain Tidy team at Hockliffe and Tebworth
Keep Britain Tidy team at Hockliffe and Tebworth

Volunteers have been out to clean up their communities during a campaign to blitz litter.

McDonald’s franchisee Ismail Anilmis and teams from his Leighton Buzzard and Hockliffe restaurants joined forces with South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous and Keep Britain Tidy to carry out litter picks in Hockliffe, Tebworth and Stockgrove Park.

The clean-up events in Hockliffe and Tebworth saw 17 volunteers from the Hockliffe restaurant clear litter from underneath and within the hedgerows leading up to both villages.

The volunteers, who worked for two hours, were joined by three local cub scouts and Mr Selous on the litter pick. The group collected 14 bags of rubbish in total.

A clean up event also saw 15 volunteers from the Leighton Buzzard restaurant joined together to clean up debris and litter from Stockgrove Park.

Ismail, who owns 10 restaurants across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, said: “It was great to see everyone come together to complete this work and I’d like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work in the events.

“As a business we understand the important role we play in making the area a better place. When local businesses and community members work together we are able to achieve so much more and this event is a perfect example of this.”

Mr Selous, a long-time supporter of McDonald’s litter-picking activity, said: “I’m proud to attend these events and it’s great to see Ismail Anilmis and his restaurant teams making such a big difference to the local area. It just shows how much can be done when everyone takes pride in their local area and works together - a huge well done to everyone who took part!”

This event is just one of a number of McDonald’s clean-ups which have taken place across the UK as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s anti-littering campaign, Love Where You Live. The campaign and partnership is now in its fifth year and continues to encourage local communities to take action and work together to tackle litter in their area.

Keep Britain Tidy’s interim CEO Rich McIlwain said: “McDonald’s has shown a real commitment to tackling the problem of litter, both through their own business practices and through their work with communities to clear up.”

Since McDonald’s began supporting the Love Where You Live campaign, over 1,000 events and activity days have been organised by restaurant staff in the UK, involving over 30,000 volunteers. In England specifically, 2014 saw 364 events take place with a total of 12,059 people taking part.

Aside from larger litter events such as these, McDonald’s restaurants patrol the streets at least three times a day to collect all litter that has been discarded, regardless of its origin. Crew members across the UK cover a total of 3,000 miles each week on litter patrols, which equates to 150,000 miles a year and the distance of five marathons each year per store.

In addition to the annual Keep Britain Tidy litter events and daily patrols, many restaurants have now begun to get involved in events such as painting walls and replanting trees and flowers that improve local community areas.