Litter And Fly-Tipping In England
HC 607, Seventh Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Communities and Local Government Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
England is a litter-ridden country compared to most of Europe, North America and Japan, according to the report 'Litter And Fly-Tipping In England (HC 607)'. Levels of litter in England have hardly improved in the past 12 years and the best estimates are that litter costs the taxpayer between £717-850 million a year to clear up - change is needed.
There has been a 20% increase in fast-food litter in the last year and the report recommends that the Government bring forward legislation requiring all shops, restaurants and retail food outlets to keep the perimeters of their premises free from litter. Responsible businesses are already doing this.
In addition the fast-food industry should introduce 'on-pack' information on all branded take-away and fast-food packaging to remind consumers to dispose of litter responsibly. The most frequently littered items are chewing gum and smokers materials. Chewing gum and staining are difficult and costly to remove. This was a matter of considerable concern upon which the Committee deliberated at length.
Levels of fly-tipping increased by 20% in the last year. There were 852,000 reported incidents but only 2,000 convictions in the courts. It is recommended that the Government introduce a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping for household items - the bulk of the incidents - and the industry must introduce a scheme to take away unwanted household appliances and furniture when replacements are delivered.
In the end it is individuals who litter and fly-tip their unwanted goods, and it is this behaviour which needs to change. The Committee support a variety of behaviour-changing activities and campaigns to prevent littering.
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