Public littering is widely recognized as an ongoing global problem with several implications on human health and the integrity of the environment. Waste management is one of the main challenges to sustainable development in the Arabian Gulf countries. Identifying factors that influence littering behaviour is critical for designing effective strategies to reduce or prevent littering. The present study investigated attitudes and opinions regarding public littering in the Kingdom of Bahrain using a questionnaire-based assessment to 408 respondents. Findings showed that around (74.26–80.54%) of the respondents indicated that they never litter in public places while those with (11.33–12.50%) admitted to litter when there is no littering facilities. The majority of the respondents (92.96%) recognized that the cleanness of public places is a shared responsibility between the governmental bodies and the public. Respondents showed positive attitude towards participating in cleaning campaigns. Age and gender were found to influence attitude and behaviour towards public littering in Bahrain. The study recommended adopting effective litter prevention project that may include public policies, technology, and educational and awareness programmes in Bahrain. Further research opportunities to draw a comprehensive picture about littering in Bahrain are also outlined. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the University of Bahrain.