2 Minute Path Clean - Walks Around Britain

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How many times have you been out walking and seen litter on your way?  Discarded wrappers from crisps, energy bars and snacks; the remains of food; the inevitable empty plastic water bottle...

So we at Walks Around Britain have decided to do something about it.

We've launched our 2 Minute Path Clean - aimed at encouraging walkers all across Britain to spend just 2 minutes of every walk tidying up an area as they go along.

It doesn't matter where that area is - be it on the top of Wansfell Pike or in the car park where a walk starts - but if we all did a little bit to help keep our countrysides and landscapes litter-free, the better it is for us as walkers and for the environment too.

2 Minute Path Clean

For a while now, we've been supporting the idea of the original #2 Minute Beach Clean founded by Martin Dorey by doing our our beach cleans whenever we're filming around the coasts of the British Isles.

So we thought, if Martin and the team are doing that for beaches, couldn't we take up the running for the hundreds of thousands of miles of footpaths in Britain?

And so 2 Minute Path Clean was born.

There's two parts to our 2 Minute Path Clean...

  • encouraging walkers to spend just 2 minutes of every walk tidying up an area as they go along.

  • educating walkers not to drop anything whilst out walking... not even items thought as "ok" to leave behind.

So, we're encouraging more walkers to help us clean up Britain's public footpaths and landscapes.

But how?

  • Simply by taking a large refuse bag with you in your backpack.
  • When you find somewhere with a lot of litter, pick it up in the bag.
  • Put your hand inside the bag to pick up the litter, if you don't want to get dirty, and then turn the bag inside out - like using a dog poo bag.
  • Bring the full bag and empty it in the nearest bin - or bring it home so you can sort through it to make sure as much as possible is recycled.

If all us walkers did this as often as we could,
together we'd be make a great difference to the countryside of Britain.
The other part of the 2 Minute Path Clean campaign is education - helping walkers and the general public alike to understand what happens to litter when it is thrown away, and to realise even things we'd traditionally thought would be ok to leave in the countryside takes a long time to decompose and can cause big problems to wildlife.

So, we all by now understand the problems of single-use plastic water bottles, and the time it takes to decompose... but actually there are many items we'd probably throw away without thinking that we shouldn't...

For example, many of use wouldn't think twice of throwing a banana skin at the side of a path - because after all, it's natural, right?
The table below shows the average time for the most common litter in the UK takes to decompose...
  Paper bag    1 month
  Apple core    8 weeks
  Orange peel and banana skins    2 years
  Cigarette end    18 months to 500 years
  Plastic bag    10 to 20 years
  A plastic bottle    450 years
  Chewing gum
   1 million years
So, the next time you're out walking, try to remember about our 2 Minute Path Clean.  

Take a photo of what you're about to clean up - or what you've collected - and tweet it using the hashtag #2MinutePathClean.

And don't forget to follow the campaign on Twitter - @2minpathclean.
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