Saturday, July 13, 2024

National litter campaign follows example of Thurrock’s “Clean It, Cut, It Fill It”

EXTRA bins are to be placed in litter hot-spots around the UK as ministers warn there is “no excuse” for dropping waste ahead of the launch of a strategy to clean up Britain’s streets today (Monday).

The £800 million problem is putting the UK’s reputation for unspoilt green spaces at risk, Andrea Leadsom has warned, as the environment secretary called on people to do more to avoid putting tourists off reports the Daily Telegraph.

But ministers have chosen not to tackle coffee cup waste in the new strategy, despite millions of cups being handed out every day and calls for a tax similar to the 5p plastic bag charge to discourage their use.

Announcing a new strategy to tackle litter across the country Ms Leadsom said the problem is a “shocking drain on the public purse” and revealed plans to fine people who drop waste up to £150.

The new £150 fine would be double the current littering penalty.

More bins will be rolled out across the country and smart bin technology will help councils understand where hot-spots are and when they need emptying.

For the first time a litter map will measure how much waste is being dropped and dumped so that ministers can measure improvement, the Government announced.

It will be followed by a country-wide anti-litter campaign in 2018, designed to make littering as socially unacceptable as drink-driving and smoking in front of children.

The environment secretary said: “England prides itself on its iconic landscapes, and from ramblers to surfers, our scenic environment attracts millions of visitors every year.

“We can’t let litter louts put our reputation at risk, and putting a stop to litter is a vital part of our ambition to become the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.

“In places of heavy pedestrian traffic or in litter hot-spots, we want to make sure there’s a bin close by, so there’s no excuse to leave rubbish behind.”

As part of the plan a team of litter experts will help advise councils on how to cut down on problem rubbish in public spaces.

New smart bins will be introduced and a map of where bins are in greatest demand will be developed.

In addition, 25 litter hot-spots on the transport network will also be identified and fines will be increased to prevent people from using the areas to dump refuse.

Offenders on community sentences, especially those who are guilty of fly-tipping, should be forced to help councils clean up litter, ministers said.

There will also be a new expert group looking at the best way to reduce plastic bottles and drink containers being used and entering the waste system or clogging up the environment.

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