A wave of patriotism has swept across the nation this week as football fans cheer on our boys in Germany. But environmental campaign charity Encams is urging the same people to "show some pride" in keeping Britain litter-free this summer.
The organisation, which runs the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, launched its fortnight-long 'Pride' poster campaign on 5 June. It is designed to target young men: the charity's research has shown them to be the worst offenders for dropping litter - particularly takeaway packaging.
"We know the people most likely to drop fast food rubbish are the same people who will be wearing England football shirts this summer," said Peter Gibson, media manager at Encams. "So we've tied the campaign in with the World Cup and used a phrase that is designed to resonate with our target audience."
The campaign posters show the flag of St George strewn with pizza boxes, chip papers and drinks cans. The visuals, which are emblazoned with the messages '40 years of dirt' and 'Eng-urgh-land', will appear on billboards and beermats in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich. The goal of the campaign is to reduce takeaway debris by 20 per cent.
"We've done a lot of research with football supporters and we found that the word 'pride' really struck a chord with them," said Gibson. "So we're trying to get people to equate the pride they show in supporting England with taking pride in keeping the country tidy."
Encams conducted its research through focus groups held across the UK, which found that young men also admitted to feeling no guilt about dropping litter. They were also asked "if there was a World Cup for the team with the dirtiest streets, who would win?" England came top with 29.5 per cent of votes, beating India into second and Brazil into third.
Motorists are also being encouraged to display car stickers bearing the words 'Have Some Pride'. These are available from www.keepbritaintidy.org as well as selected motorway service stations.