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  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

Litter blamed on 'poor people'

A Sussex campaigner has called for 6-thousand pound fines for littering and appeared to blame 'poor people' for dropping most of the rubbish on our streets. Humourist and author David Sedaris from Horsham told a Government Committee that levels of litter in the region are "disgraceful" and he says children are also among the worst offenders.

"I found one Waitrose bag last year. There is a Tesco Metro which I think of as a litter supply store and I find Tesco bags all the time. I don't find containers nuts came in."

– David Sedaris, Author and humourist

Mr Sedaris later said he felt it was childish of committee members to suggest he was blaming poor people, but he had told the Government panel that he had only found one Waitrose bag when he was litter picking, whereas he found Tesco bags all the time. When asked directly if he felt wealthy people who shop at Waitrose were less likely to drop litter than poorer people who shop at Tesco's he said: "I haven't found any opera tickets"

Our region biggest culprit of motorway littering

The Highways Agency have collected more than 7,500 tonnes of rubbish Credit: Highways Agency

It costs £6 million a year to collect litter on motorways, the Highways Agency has revealed.

They have collected more than 7,500 tonnes of litter from roads and is urging motorists to bag and bin their rubbish.

In February 2013, the Highways Agency collected 1,512 sacks of litter in central and southern England, which includes Hampshire, Berkshire and parts of Surrey, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.

he Highways Agency has launched its annual "Bag it. Bin it!" campaign and is asking road users to help reduce the amount of litter on motorways and major A-roads, which can also threaten wildlife and block drains which can lead to flooding.

The Highways Agency is asking road users to be mindful of where they put their rubbish Credit: Highways Agency

Phil Barton, CEO of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "Local authorities in England already spend £1billion in street cleaning and car litter is a considerable factor in this. People should take responsibility for their environment, locally and further afield.

"Just because you are on the move is no excuse for despoiling the area you're driving through and leaving others to deal with your thoughtlessness."


On-the-spot fines for those who drop litter in Havant

Havant Borough Council will be cracking down on litterbugs by handing out on-the-spot fines.

Their new approach of "Pick Up or Pay Out" is about to begin, with Environment Rangers wondering the streets and fining people who drop litter or cigarette butts or leave their dogs' mess.

Councillor Mike Fairhurst, who is responsible for Operational Services said, "Havant Borough Council work hard to maintain the cleanliness of the borough, spending £700,000 on street cleaning annually and with over 2000 litter bins across the borough there is no excuse.

"Anyone dropping litter or not cleaning up after their dog will get an on-the-spot fine."

Beachwatch clean up team effort

The Marine Conservation Society volunteers combat beach litter across the UK.

Thousands of volunteers annually join the Beachwatch Big Weekend in the fight against marine litter both at home and abroad.

Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwater officer, said: “Beach litter has steadily risen over the two decades we’ve been recording it on UK beaches."

Beachwatch is the most respected and long standing beach litter survey in the UK, but we need more people to join us as volunteer beach cleaners to help make this 20th anniversary event the most comprehensive collection of data yet.”

Trial to fine litter droppers

Canterbury city centre- Credit: ITV Meridian

Around a hundred people have been fined since the start of a trial by Canterbury council to fine people for dropping litter.

Officers working for the authority have been patrolling the city centre aswell as Herne Bay, and Whitstable.

The 3 month trial finishes at the end of March.

The council says the majority of fines were for people dropping smoking related litter.

High Sheriff calls for clean-up

The High Sheriff of Kent, Mike Bax, is calling for a clean-up of litter in Kent ahead of the county being used as one of the gateways to the Olympics. He has published the following letter:

The litter on Kent’s rural roads is becoming a negative and noticeably regular topic of conversation around the County. From June onwards, Kent will be one of the gateways to the Olympics and the County owes it to itself to make a serious effort to clean up its act. Natural England has recently reissued the Countryside Code under the slogan Respect – Protect – Enjoy and I think we all need to take the time to remember this.

– Michael Bax, High Sherriff, Kent

The Olympic period will be a wonderful opportunity to practice these principles and one key contributor to the protection of the natural environment is to take our litter home. Not only will picking up litter keep Kent looking beautiful but it will also help remove a dangerous hazard to Kent’s farm animals and wildlife. As High Sherriff of Kent, can I please ask the county to practice these basic principles at every level in the community, both young and old. Kent is a wonderful County – let’s reverse the bad habits of the minority and show our County off to the world.

– Michael Bax, High Sherriff, Kent