The Advertiser Thursday, July 30, 2020 25 We’re standing up to the litterbugs There are 4m of us calling for change JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN TO CLEAN UP STREETS, PARKS AND BEACHES E By LIAM THORP VERYONE hates litter. And for more than 50 years, countries, cities and communities have waged war on the filthy litterbugs who shame our streets and parks. Who can forget ‘Keep Britain Tidy’? Then came ‘Don’t be a Litterbug’, ‘Be a Binner Not a Sinner’ and ‘Let’s get Bitter about Litter.’ And The Golden Skip prize goes to Australia for the crude-butcracking ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ campaign that went worldwide. So much effort. So much creativity. Yet still so much filth and debris making lives miserable. But now, more than ever before, we can consign litter louts to the rubbish bin of history. In Your Area has nearly 4m users across the UK. We operate in, and have users in, every single UK postcode district. Which means we have a huge army of people who care and can make things happen. So today, on behalf of 4m people, we say: DON’T TRASH OUR FUTURE and we demand the punishment for littering is raised to a £1,000 fine or 100 hours of supervised community litter picking. And we insist that it’s compulsory for local authorities to enforce it. How do we make this reality? Simply sign our petition and at 100,000 signatures we will call for it to be considered for a debate in Parliament. And with 4m voices behind us we will lobby MPs and ministers to drive through real change that makes things cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful In Your Area. Together we can win – and ensure those who don’t have respect for our streets, fields and pathways Don’t Trash our Future. Reporter Gabby and Kenny Logan supporting the Don’t Trash Our Future campaign firstname.lastname@example.org @LiamThorpECHO RUBBISH strewn across Merseyside’s beautiful beaches, carpets of detritus left behind in Liverpool city centre, discarded packaging dumped in Sefton Park for someone else to deal with. These are all scenes that have become too familiar during the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Merseyside and across the country but which have their root in a much more long-term problem - the UK’s litter epidemic. Today we are standing up to it, and urging you to do the same, with our new campaign Don’t Trash Our Future. The Advertiser, together with local community and information platform InYourArea.co.uk and our nationwide network of sister newspapers and websites, has teamed up with Clean Up Britain to push for change. Our campaign has two aims: To increase the maximum punishment for littering to a £1,000 fine or 100 hours of supervised community litter picking To make it compulsory for local authorities to enforce the law on littering. We are urging you to sign our petition - with the aim of reaching 100,000 signatures so we can lobby the Government to change the legislation and shed the country of its reputation as a litter-plagued nation. We’re also calling on councils to flex their muscles in the fight against rubbish and make better use of the powers they already have available. A Freedom of Information request sent by Clean Up Britain to 169 councils in England and Wales found the majority (56%) were issuing less than one fine per week for littering and more than two dozen (16%) don’t issue fines at all. In a recent survey conducted by InYourArea.co.uk, more than 7,500 respondents overwhelmingly said littering has a negative effect on them and their neighbourhoods and classed it as a big problem. JB Gill, a former member of superstar pop group JLS and now an advocate for education and the countryside, has signed up as an ambassador for Don’t Trash Our Future. He said: “The only way to stop the damage being done to our health, nature and wildlife is to sign the Don’t Trash our Future petition, object to local councils not enforcing ■ ■ Sign the petition online at inyourarea. co.uk/DTOF littering: changing the behaviour of people who do it. Nothing else will work. “It depresses people because mucky surroundings make them feel worthless. It’s expensive - councils across the UK spend over a billion pounds a year trying to clean it up.” Ed Walker, Editor-in-Chief of InYourArea.co.uk, said it’s time for littering to stop. “InYourArea are proud to be working with Clean Up Britain to tackle the country’s litter and waste epidemic. “Our users are sick of seeing their neighbourhoods being treated like rubbish dumps. “Don’t Trash Our Future will hopefully make councils and members of the public think harder about the littering issue.” group, said: “I still can’t understand how people can come to places like Sefton Park, enjoy their time here and then just leave all their rubbish on the floor.” Further support has come from TV host Gabby Logan and her husband Kenny, a former Scotland international rugby player turned broadcaster. Together they said: “We’re urging everyone to get behind the ‘Don’t Trash Our Future’ national anti-litter campaign, and show how much we care about our naturally beautiful country. To use the sporting analogy, it’s a self-inflicted, needless, own goal.” Journalist and TV presenter Jeremy Paxman is Clean Up Britain’s patron. He said: “There is only one sustainable and effective solution to fines and demand a higher penalty for those dropping litter.” John Read, founder of Clean Up Britain, said: “We are all so fortunate to live in a beautiful country, but it’s so depressing to see so many people littering it. “There has to be zero tolerance towards littering. Fines need to be increased to a level which shows the Government - and society generally - will no longer tolerate this antisocial and selfish behaviour. “We also need to ensure fines are a credible deterrent, by making it compulsory for councils to enforce the law, which currently it’s not.” One area of Merseyside that has been hit particularly badly by litter in recent months is Sefton Park. Backing our campaign, Andrea Ku, chair of the Friends of Sefton Park ED WALKER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, INYOURAREA.CO.UK
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