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Litter reduction by property owners

Comment 12th July 2010

Litter in the UK is reaching horror proportions.  Roadsides are blighted by an endless trail of empty plastic bottles and bags, not to mention drinks cans and other items.  Meanwhile litter in towns attracts vandalism and graffiti, and litter blackspots cause people to feel threatened and uneasy.

It is the responsibility of Local Authorities to remove litter but the problem is now so large that it is beyond their control. 

The time has come to hand some responsibility back to citizens.  We should introduce the law that applies in many other countries and works well there, Germany being one example.  In Germany all businesses and all property owners are obliged to keep the frontage of their own property litter-free. 

Encouragement through things like Tidy Business Awards has been the route here, but there remains an apparently intractable problem.  Now legislation must surely be justified.

If property owners played their part, the Council litter teams would be freed to focus on other areas, like trunk roads (which are particularly bad) and other blackspots – and we would all benefit.

In addition, it really should be made the case in law that litter thrown from a vehicle is the responsibility of the vehicle owner, whether or not that person is driving at the time.  At present car and van drivers wriggle out of accepting responsibility by claiming that a passenger or other driver threw the offending item.

 

Why does this matter?

Because it is essentially very simple, very clear and would produce an immediate, UK-wide improvement in our environment and our quality of life.

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