New crackdown on littering comes into force

People dropping litter now face on-the-spot fines of up to £150 in a new crackdown.

The penalty comes into force across England on Sunday and is almost double the previous fine of £80.

Councils can also use the penalties against drivers if it can be proved the offending item was thrown from their car.

The Government insists tougher penalties are needed because the bill for keeping the country's streets clean costs local authorities £680 million a year.

Ministers have warned councils they must not abuse the powers and should consider local ability to pay when imposing the fine.

The government estimate keeping the country's streets clean costs £680 million a year. Credit: PA

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: "These new fines will tackle anti-social behaviour by hitting litter louts in the pocket, whether it's litter that is thrown from a vehicle or dropped in the street.

"Littering is a scourge on our environment and we waste taxpayers' money cleaning it up - funds which could be better spent in the community.

"We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, and I encourage everyone to take responsibility for their litter and recycle more."

The new fine will attempt to crackdown on litter thrown from vehicles. Credit: PA

Edmund King, president of motoring organisation the AA, said: "There is no excuse for car litter louts. Tossing rubbish from vehicles spoils the environment, costs millions and puts road workers' lives at risk when they have to clear up.

"The majority of our members support higher fines for littering and we welcome these steps to tackle this unnecessary problem. It is not difficult for car occupants to bag it and bin it."