WGPlus (Archive)

If you litter, you could be ‘throwing’ your money away

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has unveiled the Government’s first Litter Strategy for England intended to reduce the near £800m burden to the taxpayer of clean-up costs.  Under the new measures, the most serious litterers could be hit with the £150 fines, while vehicle owners could receive penalty notices when it can be proved litter was thrown from their car – even if it was discarded by somebody else.

Further new measures drawn up by environment, transport & communities departments include:

  • Issuing new guidance for councils to be able to update the nation’s ‘binfrastructure’ through creative new designs and better distribution of public litter bins, making it easier for people to discard rubbish.
  • Stopping councils from charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites (rubbish dumps) – legally, household waste is supposed to be free to dispose of at such sites.
  • Creating a new expert group to look at further ways of cutting the worst kinds of litter, including plastic bottles & drinks containers, cigarette ends and fast food packaging.

The strategy also outlines measures to protect seas, oceans and marine life from pollution.   It builds on the success of the 5p plastic bag charge, which has led to a 40% decrease in bags found on the beach.  Funding will also be made available to support innovative community-led projects to tackle litter that could turn local success stories into national initiatives.

The Government will follow the strategy with a new national anti-littering campaign in 2018, working with industry and the voluntary sector to drive behaviour change.

The consultation on the new enforcement measures has opened (closes on 18 June 2017).  Guidance will then be issued to councils to accompany any new enforcement powers, to make sure they are targeted at cutting litter, while preventing over-zealous enforcement or fines being used to raise revenue.
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