Fast Food Litter

In today's fast-moving environment, eating food on the go is becoming more and more commonplace. In Gibraltar, fast food litter is becoming a significant problem, especially evident on a Friday and Saturday night. Although H.M. Government of Gibraltar provides an effective street cleaning service through Master Services Ltd., this is still no excuse to put extra pressure on Gibraltar's street cleaning service. In addition to costing the Gibraltar taxpayer money, the litter bugs who dump their takeaway rubbish in the streets encourage our nature wildlife to associate rubbish as a food source and therefore exacerbate the problem further, namely the Barbary Macaques and Seagulls.

Fast Food Litter can be defined as: "any food on the go or the packaging sold with the food substance, or the implements (forks, etc) used to eat it, which is found discarded onto public streets and areas".

Therefore, drink cartons, bottles and cans, sandwich packaging and confectionery wrappings are considered as fast food litter. Burgers, kebabs, chips and their containers, and wrappings are also considered fast food litter. 

How can we reduce the amount of fast food litter on our streets?

Solutions could be as simple as vendors putting posters up around their outlet to discourage customers from littering, storing waste correctly, providing small recycling / food waste bins and keeping the premises and surrounding area clean.

As consumers, simple steps can help minimise the amounts of fast food litter present by:

  • Returning the packaging (once the food has been consumed) to the carrier bag given and carry to the next available public street bin. Empty the contents of the carrier bag into the public bin only if the packaging is heavily soiled and can not be recycled). Place the carrier bag in the nearest recycling bin if it can not be reused.
  • Alternatively, all packaging can be placed in its relevant recycling bin if relatively clean. Most food packaging is either plastic, tetrabrik or metal based, all items of which can be deposited in Gibraltar's yellow recycling bins. Information on the location of yellow bins throughout Gibraltar can be found here.
  • Place sweet and chocolate wrappings (once contents consumed) back in your pocket / handbag and dispose of at the nearest yellow recycling bin.