Litter claw firm sees boom in business during lockdowns

Litter claw firm hires 50 more staff to meet demand as picking up rubbish becomes more popular as a result of lockdown

  • Ledbury-based Helping Hand hired more staff as war on litter ramped up in UK 
  • The firm produces litter ‘claws’ – and saw a boom in business during lockdowns  
  • Company is supporting Mail-backed Great British Spring Clean for its 12th year
  • Over 210,000 volunteers have so far pledged to clean 1.15million miles of the UK 

For many among the thousands picking up rubbish during the Great British Spring Clean, the weapon of choice is a litter claw.

And with demand so high, fuelled by growing enthusiasm for litter-picking during lockdown, a leading provider of the devices has had to take on 50 more staff to keep up.

The firm Helping Hand has been operating 24 hours a day since November to produce enough claws, increasing its workforce by 31 per cent.

Lara Bryant, vice-president of sales and marketing at the company, said: ‘Litter has been a major problem for decades but the lockdown led to new types and unprecedented levels of litter.

‘Wrappers, cartons and bottles have been joined by PPE litter such as plastic gloves and face masks.

‘During lockdown, people spent significantly more time in parks than on the high street. It led to a shocking increase in the volume of litter and that’s why we’re seen such a significant upswing in demand.’ 

Ledbury-based Helping Hand had to hire an extra 50 staff as demand for litter picking boomed during lockdowns Pictured: The firm’s Litterpicker Pro in action

Helping Hand is supporting the Daily Mail-backed Great British Spring Clean for the 12th year. 

‘We are enormously proud to be part of such a significant campaign,’ said Mrs Bryant.

‘Those parks and green spaces are more precious than ever and we must conserve it. There is not another planet and we all have a responsibility to look after it for generations to come.’

She added: ‘It is the ever-growing number of volunteers who want to turn the tide on litter.’

More than 210,000 pledged to take part in the spring clean, which finishes tomorrow.

‘That community spirit fostered by this pandemic has changed people’s behaviour,’ said Mrs Bryant. 

‘It affects the way people consume and it affects people’s emotional health and wellbeing.

‘So people can do something very simple – go out and pick up litter because you overcome the isolation issues doing that.’ 


The firm had to increase staff numbers as growing enthusiasm for litter-picking was fuelled during lockdown

Helping Hand, based in Ledbury, Herefordshire, took on workers who lost their jobs during lockdown and has managed to double the number of devices it produces each month.

Its Litterpicker Pro, said to be used by more than 8 million people worldwide, costs £16.99.

The firm’s devices – which are 82 per cent recyclable – are used by 93 per cent of local authorities to help collect rubbish.

The British company, founded in 1960, has given some of its litter pickers to the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.

More than a third of adults have noticed more litter in their area since the start of the pandemic. 

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Countryside Charity found 38 per cent have seen more rubbish. Three in four said they had noticed more discarded PPE.

Public Health England has endorsed litter picking as a good way to boost mental and physical health.

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