Tough on littering, tough on the causes
Chucking a can or sandwich packet out of the car window could land the owner with a penalty charge even if they didn’t do the throwing. This, and £150 on-the-spot fines for litter louts, are two of the measures unveiled by Defra in its mission to clean up Britain (Agromenes, page 37).
More bins will make it easier for people to put litter in the right place, councils will not be able to charge for taking household DIY waste to dumps and offenders on community service will be sent to pick up rubbish.
Eco-schools will be increased and experts will look at reducing the littering temptations of plastic bottles, cigarette ends and fast-food packaging. The highways Agency has identified 25 ‘hotspots’ to tackle.
The CLA comments: ‘Ministers are right to be doing this. Litter and fly-tipping comes at a major cost for farmers and other rural businesses who inevitably have to clear it up. This was estimated at £50 million last year—an unaffordable burden.’
however, the nfu says the strategy doesn’t go far enough to tackle fly-tipping. ‘We are pressing the Magistrates’ Association to ensure its members are fully aware of the Environmental Offences Definitive guidelines. Magistrates need to make use of their sentencing powers and provide a real deterrent,’ advises deputy president Minette Batters.
Defra is seeking public views on increasing fines and would like to hear from parish councils, charities and vehicle-hire companies (www. gov.uk/government/consultations). KG
It’s estimated that littering and fly-tipping cost the countryside £50 million last year