BEACH-GOERS are being urged to Slam Dunk the Junk in a new anti-litter campaign in Dorset.

Litter Free Coast and Sea have coordinated a coast wide campaign with many of Dorset’s resort beaches joining together with the call for beach goers to Slam Dunk the Junk.

It is hoped that the campaign, which includes new banners and posters for local takeaway food outlets, will halt the increase in littering and aggressive behaviour since the start of lockdown.

Litter Free Coast and Sea is a partnership initiative, hosted by Dorset Coast Forum, that has been running since 2012.

The group has experience in designing effective behavioural change campaigns based on well research behavioural change psychology theory in conjunction with community groups, landowners and the target audience.

Beaches involved include Swanage and Studland.

Litter Free Coast and Sea spokesman Matilda Manley said: “Slam Dunk the Junk is fun and non-preachy.

“No one likes being told off or told what to do, especially at this time when there are so many rules to follow for social distancing etc.

“We have designed the artwork to be liked by adults and children alike – children are great influencers so if we can get them to like it, they can make sure their parents are following the message.”

She added: “Some of the banners use the messaging ‘Most people who visit this beach use the bin or take their litter home. Will you?’ “Research shows that people don’t change behaviour based on rational persuasion, they change to conform to those around them. People are like sheep, we subconsciously copy what others are doing.

“This is why we have to highlight all the people that DO put their litter in the bin or take it home, not those that do not in our campaign messaging.”

The campaign was designed with local graphic designer Rowena Taylor, West Bay Community Forum, #5thingsclear, Litter Free Coast and Sea volunteers, town councils, beach managers and landowners along the coast.

Some Dorset beaches have seen an increase in late night beach use and overflowing bins recently so Litter Free Coast and Sea have designed bin stickers that say ‘If this bin is full, please take your litter home.’