Football teams are set to go up against each other in litter-picking leagues, thanks to a new initiative by an Ipswich social entrepreneur.

Jason Alexander, founder of the award-winning social enterprise Rubbish Walks, has set up the new Tidy Teams initiative to get clubs across the football pyramid to tackle litter in their communities.

The clubs will commit to a six-point pledge designed to encourage long-term behavioural change from everyone including the board, the players and the supporters.

Clubs will go up against each other in Tidy Teams leagues, with an annual awards event to celebrate their successes.

East Anglian Daily Times: Award-winning social entrepreneur Jason said football clubs are in a unique position to promote behavioural changeAward-winning social entrepreneur Jason said football clubs are in a unique position to promote behavioural change (Image: Jason Alexander/Rubbish Walks CIC)

Mr Alexander, 50, said: “The UK is facing a growing litter crisis of epidemic proportions.

"Our biggest challenge is changing people’s attitude towards littering. We need to make littering completely socially unacceptable.

"Football clubs are in a unique position to help with this challenge. They have the opportunity to lead by example and instil positive behavioural changes in their players, supporters and wider community.

"My question to football clubs is if you care about your supporters, if you care about your community and if you care about the planet, why wouldn’t you want to get involved?"

Mr Alexander is working alongside ReWorked and Kits4Causes to help deliver elements of the Tidy Teams pledge – with the former making waves during the pandemic as the first company to offer a recycling programme for Covid-19 related plastics, such as masks and lateral flow tests.

Kits4Causes, on the other hand, distributes unwanted football kits and equipment to social projects around the world. It is hoped Tidy Teams will help expand their services and deliver thousands of kits.

Izzie Glazzard, marketing manager at ReWorked, said: "The Tidy Teams initiative is a great opportunity to influence positive change when it comes to recycling, litter and sustainability.

"ReWorked are thrilled to be supporting the scheme and hope to divert plenty of old goal nets and training cones from landfills where possible.

"We plan to recycle the tricky football waste into kickboards and recycling bins for the sports venues of the future."

Chris Grindley, co-founder of Kits4Causes, added that the team is "delighted" to be involved.