National Highways ‘Lend a Paw’ campaign

In partnership with FCB London, the new National Highways campaign to raise awareness of the impact of road network littering on wildlife.

National Highways "Litter Kills" campaign

Estimates by Keep Britain Tidy indicate that litter kills 3 million animals each year. Discarded roadside rubbish and food attract wildlife, bringing them closer to the dangers of fast moving traffic. Animals can choke or be poisoned by discarded food and the run the risk of being trapped or injured by food packaging such as plastic bottles and metal cans. On average, the RSPCA gets 10 calls a day about animals affected by litter – a number which spikes in the summer months. They estimate that the actual figure is much higher as injured animals are not always found.

The National Highways campaign features a rabbit, hedgehog and squirrel standing shocked at the side of a road next to the line, “Litter kills 3 million animals a year”. The campaign forms the first wave of a National Highways’ three-year plan to drive awareness of the impact of littering on road networks, presenting it as socially unacceptable behaviour and inviting drivers to “Lend a Paw”.

Lend a Paw encourages people to dispose of their waste at their destination or a motorway service area, as even throwing an apple core from a car window can cause harm by attracting animals to the side of the road, putting them at risk of being hit by passing vehicles.

National Highways’ head of marketing and events Alison Holliday said: “Littering is a social problem and we’re working hard to tackle it on our roads. Drawing attention to the impact it can have on wildlife offers a stark and compelling reason for people to act responsibly. FCB’s creative has the power to help educate drivers and influence their behaviour to protect our environment, road workers and wildlife. The simple truth is if people didn’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up – so we are urging road users to take their litter home”.