On McRubbish

By SallyB2 Last edited 114 months ago
On McRubbish

1301.litter.jpg Now is really not the time to go into the fast food business. It seems that if the government doesn’t get its wish to see you hanged, drawn and quarter-poundered in the town square for forcing the population to become obese, the litter lobby will have you up for failing in after-sales street sweeping.

The Keep Britain Tidy people have just conducted a rather revealing and oddly fascinating city by city survey of Untidy Britain, focusing on fast food wrappers. Seems that London’s litter of choice is disposable coffee cups (at 23%), with Greggs (16%) and McDonalds (14%) in second and third places. Nationwide, McDonalds account for 29% of all foodie street waste, whilst unbranded fish and chip packaging clutters 21% of our gutters, and Greggs brings up the rear with 18%. Recommendations are made that fast food vendors should do more to help lower litter levels - offer incentives to eat in, use less packaging, provide more bins. A simultaneous study was carried out on negative brand image i.e. the damage done to a brand name when seen as street rubbish (although it doesn’t seem to have done bananas any harm).

Now Londonist isn’t a huge Mcfan, but it seems to us that short of buying their own rubbish trucks there is little else they could do to help keep our streets rubbish free. There are huge bins all over their premises, and little McHelpers rushing backwards and forwards sweeping and cleaning. The same is true to a lesser extent of most of the chains. The fact is that as a nation we have become inconsiderate, lazy and disrespectful when it comes to our streetscapes. Walk down a street, any street, and before too long you will see a kid, any kid, discard a wrapper, any wrapper. We’re just not bovvered enough.

O mores! What an il-litter-ate lot we have become.

Redefined litter by nic0 from the Londonist flickr pool

Last Updated 13 January 2009


It's not fair to blame the fast food joints for littering London's streets, I drive in London and I've seen many people simply chucking out McRubbish onto the roads when they are stationary in traffic. It's disgusting, foul and I've always wanted to whack the perpetrators with a baseball bat when I see it happen.


I have chased up the streets after people who have dropped rubbish: the line..
"Hi - is this yours? I think you dropped it?" usually elicits the desired chagrin.
But I am frightened to do this to kids in gangs and they are the main perpetrators.
All this love and care for the environment now, and people still can't get the basics right.


There was a system tested a few months ago of speaking cameras. Don't remember where it was tested but from reports it did seem to work to limit the littering and, as an added bonus, reduce night time problems (after the pubs shut etc).

Maybe something like this in London? -
Oy you, pick that up.
There's a bin over there, use it.
Wait until your mother hears about this...