The European Litter Prevention Association

Pictogram launched to help cut Covid-19-related littering

1 July 2020, the Clean Europe Network has launched a common European pictogram to encourage citizens to correctly dispose of used personal protection equipment (PPE), such as single use protective gloves and both single use and reusable masks and visors. The pictogram is available in EPS, JPG and PNG formats.

Today, in addition to the range of items that are often littered, we are now witnessing a small but growing number of discarded items of PPE in urban areas as well as in the countryside. These used items carry a heightened risk of contamination with infectious pathogens including but not limited to coronavirus. The new pictogram encourages citizens to dispose of the used items in a safer way in litter bins in public spaces or in the residual waste bins at home.

The Clean Europe Network’s objective is to start a voluntary movement to use the same pictogram across Europe and thereby highlight what is clearly a pan-European problem.

The pictogram – an adaptation of the well-known “Tidyman” symbol – was developed by NederlandSchoon (the leading litter prevention organisation in The Netherlands and a founder member of the Network) and kindly made available for all Network members to use in their campaigns across Europe against littering of potentially contaminated PPE.

Network members planning – or already running – specific communication campaigns for safe disposal of Covid-19-related litter, now have the option to add the common European pictogram to their campaign materials to enhance their own messaging. Other organisations (such as local authorities) are also encouraged to use the pictogram and should contact the Clean Europe Network secretariat, if interested.

This initiative is in line with the Network’s long-standing vocation to develop common programmes/methodologies in areas where there is added-value in a European approach.

Other examples of such initiatives include the first ever European guidelines for volunteer litter-pickers on how to carry out litter clean-ups in a safer way and the common European methodology for measuring and monitoring litter.