As the amount of litter hauled out of country parks hovers around a peak level set more than a decade ago, a coalition of five green groups is launching a campaign to persuade visitors to take their rubbish out with them after they visit. The campaign, dubbed Tidy Up, Bring it Back, aims to reduce the amount of garbage, and eventually the number of garbage receptacles, in country parks. Some 3,800 metric tons of trash were collected last year from bins and as litter in country parks, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The amount – which was up slightly from the 3,700 collected the previous two years and the same as that in 2011 – was the highest since 4,100 metric tons were collected in 2003. The 11.7 million visitors who tramped through the country parks in the last year on record produced around 320 grams of waste each. That's about equivalent to 40 plastic supermarket bags or 11 bottles of 600 to 750 millilitres. During observational visits in April, members of the green groups saw waste scattered and rubbish bins overflowing across the countryside, including in Shing Mun Country Park and on Po Toi Island. Used tissues, food wrappers and cigarette butts were some of the most commonly seen pieces of garbage. Ecobus, a local organisation for environmental education that is among the campaign’s five partners, recorded 600 pieces of tissue at Sunset Peak on Lantau Island in one clean-up action in January. “We can bring five tools to reduce the amount of waste,” said Sammy Wong Chai-kwok, a member of the group Actions for Pleasant Nature, which is also collaborating on the campaign. Those include visitors bringing reusable water bottles, their own handkerchiefs, reusable lunch boxes or bags and portable ash trays for cigarette butts. In the long run, the groups also urged a reduction in the number of litter bins in country parks. “Garbage bins should be removed in country parks … whatever you bring in, take it out,” said Paul Zimmerman, a member of the group Save Our Country Parks, which is another partner in the campaign. In fact, the parks have seen a reduction in the number of bins recently. While there were some 2,970 in parks in 2012/2013, there were 2,620 the following year – a drop of 350. As part of their campaign, the groups plan to host regular clean-up sessions along three popular countryside routes: Lion Rock Country Park, Shing Mun Country Park and Sunset Peak. The monthly cleaning ventures, which are due to start as soon as June, are to last three months. A systematic survey of the weight and types of waste will be done during the collection, with the data submitted to the government to help develop greener policies.