Angela Smith, MP for Basildon and East Thurrock, is backing the latest anti-litter campaign, Stop the Drop, which she says “has the potential to make a real difference in cleaning up our roadsides and countryside.”
Stop the Drop has been launched by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to highlight and tackle litter and flytipping.
Ms Smith said: “During my time as an MP, I have voted for tough legislation from fines for dropping litter to the impounding of vehicles of drivers caught flytipping. The dumping of rubbish can bring down a neighbourhood, cause dangers on our more rural roads and cost farmers thousands of pounds to remove. I have even had to take the issue of dumped asbestos, a hazardous material, direct to the Minister for Farming because of the problems it has caused farmers in East Thurrock.”
It’s not just about flytipping and dumping on a major scale. Simply putting empty cigarette packets and drink cans in litter bins or taking them home, rather than discarding them, helps tidy up a neighbourhood or roadside and stops others from being encouraged to drop litter themselves. CPRE’s leader, the author Bill Bryson, has suggested, “if you were feeling especially heroic, you could organise a litter pick along a favourite footpath…”
Angela added, “if anyone wants to organise a litter pick in their area, I would be happy to join them if I can. Orsett in Bloom had dozens of helpers out the last time I was able to be with them for their village clean-up and it really made a difference. Why not make this a New Year resolution?”