Litter. Everyone admits it's a problem, but how to deal with it - well there's not so much agreement there. Now the Government is considering moves to get tougher on litter louts - including increasing on-the-spot fines and handing out fixed penalty notices to fly-tippers.
At the moment fines for dropping litter such as food wrapping are between £50m and £80 and can be handed out by litter teams on behalf of local authorities and councils. But those fines could rise. Derek Johnson reports.
Careless litter louts will soon be paying the price for making a mess in East Hampshire with a new ‘zero tolerance’ campaign from East Hampshire District Council.
From this week, residents who drop litter, chewing gum or cigarette butts, or don’t clean up after their dog, run the risk of a £75 fine.
The campaign will be run across the district but officers will be focusing on the worst affected areas.
Residents who would like to report a litter ‘hot spot’ to the council can call the litter line on 01730 234131 and officers will visit that area.
The scheme will be enforced by officers from Kingdom Security Ltd who will be uniformed with EHDC livery and carry official ID. The six month pilot has been launched to reduce litter in the district and there is no expectation it will generate a profit. Any money made will be ploughed back into public services.
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.
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"
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.
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."
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."
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.”
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.
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:
MPs, councils, and local people say that lorry drivers - especially foreign truckers - are littering south east road verges. The drivers say that high charges are driving them from official lorry parks.