Making the litter creators pay

We live ona  small, densley populated island that is drowning under a sea of litter often created by waste from foreign owned big businesses selling take out food that adds to the nation's health problems and therefore everyone's NI contributions. They should be made to pay for the litter they create and for clearing it up.

Fast food and take out food companies should pay a specific tax in relation to their size and profits. this money should be directly used to pay for more litter bins, employ more refuse staff, employ landscape gardeners to make cities where they are situated more attractive.

Those people who would be employed as a result would be paying tax therefore contributing to the economy and not being paid for doing notjhing and unemployed. Their contribution would also generate exptra income for the NHS to help pay for obesity treatment caused by the fast food and take out companies junk food.

Why is this idea important?

We live ona  small, densley populated island that is drowning under a sea of litter often created by waste from foreign owned big businesses selling take out food that adds to the nation's health problems and therefore everyone's NI contributions. They should be made to pay for the litter they create and for clearing it up.

Fast food and take out food companies should pay a specific tax in relation to their size and profits. this money should be directly used to pay for more litter bins, employ more refuse staff, employ landscape gardeners to make cities where they are situated more attractive.

Those people who would be employed as a result would be paying tax therefore contributing to the economy and not being paid for doing notjhing and unemployed. Their contribution would also generate exptra income for the NHS to help pay for obesity treatment caused by the fast food and take out companies junk food.

Local Authority duty to clear litter

It is currently the Local Authority's duty to clear litter from 'relevant land' which includes public highway, open space and other similar areas.

However, Councils don't have a litter dropping team that goes around and drops litter everywhere.  The people that drop litter cause Council Tax payers a lot of problems and communities should clear up after themselves.

The duty in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 should be removed and the ability for anybody to ask a Magistrate's Court to get an order for a Council to clear litter should also be removed.

Why is this idea important?

It is currently the Local Authority's duty to clear litter from 'relevant land' which includes public highway, open space and other similar areas.

However, Councils don't have a litter dropping team that goes around and drops litter everywhere.  The people that drop litter cause Council Tax payers a lot of problems and communities should clear up after themselves.

The duty in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 should be removed and the ability for anybody to ask a Magistrate's Court to get an order for a Council to clear litter should also be removed.

Litter reduction by property owners

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 is this idea important?

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.

 

Strengthen the laws on litter and make them work

 

We need a major change in public thinking on fly tipping and litter led very energetically by the Government just like eventually led to a change from the norm in the last century on heavy drinking and driving, which used to be common place.

Existing laws do address waste on public land and establish a clear duty for Councils to clear it up within 48 hours following complaints. However, the law needs to be more effective and used very energetically rather than merely residing on the statute book.

As it stands, the laws is too light handed giving Councils every excuse to adopt limited and insufficiently robust efforts to deal with it. A few Councils are decidedly proactive but most quite the opposite. What laws there are allow resolution but only when the persons responsible can be identified. Where they cannot, you may find instances of fly tipping and litter left there permanently.

A very great concern is that there is no sufficiently applicable law, so action cannot be taken on private land unless the waste clearly is a health hazard.

So, what we need is:

1) That the law requires all people acting in a private, company or public role to be required unceasingly to adhere to certain minimum standards including their behaviour in regard to fly tipping and litter.

For example, such provisions need to cover your neighbour who at present can dump whatever he likes in his front garden or his back garden and turn it into a refuse dump with virtual impunity. If you are unfortunate enough to live in an area where this is prevalent, the value of your property will be affected but you have no means of compensation for any resultant loss. Why should you even have to put up with an unsightly mess in spaces to the front or the rear, in or away from public vision, even so that just looking from your upstairs window you have no choice but to see private property turned into an unsightly waste tip? Why cannot it even be made obligatory that the grass is regularly kept mowed and tidy instead of being allowed to turn into a weed infested mess as often is allowed to happen?

2) The law must be strengthened and worded clearly and unambiguously so that councils and rural authorities not only have the power but also the clear duty to clean up or have cleaned up all public and private land in urban, rural and unpopulated country areas regardless of who is responsible for leaving it there. This must include whatever has accumulated in the past and not only deal with future violations.

A few, very few enterprising councils have used people on Community Service Orders to clear up and this would be very effective if used land in urban, rural and unpopulated country areas as the norm.

3) The legal right for appointed officials to enter private land for the purpose of inspecting it for alleged unreasonable fly tipping and litter or complaints to that effect, such that a legal order must be issued, not merely may be issued, for its removal regardless of who is responsible for leaving it there within a designated time period. The officials must also be held legally liable if failing to do this when the circumstances justify it.

4) Harsher penalties for offences on fly tipping and litter affecting those on whose land the problems occur regardless of whether they are the parties responsible for leaving it there and a legal duty that will ensure these penalties are enforced rather than merely being on the statue book. A light touch is precisely the opposite of what now is needed.

Footnote – In order to further put this into perspective, led me add this.

Starting with concerns locally, I proceeded through my MP, then Joan Ryan to investigate the laws affecting fly tipping and litter and with her help took it to ministerial level and exchanged written and verbal discussion with others including the then minister Joan Ruddock to no avail.

I wrote to the officer in charge at my local council (Enfield), MPs. MEPs, the London Mayor (Ken then Boris) and members of the London Assembly, various organisations like the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and others. The majority of the few who did reply regarded my proposal as unfair that people on private land have to clear up even when it may be an inherited problem and not demonstrably their fault. They are right, but which is better, to leave it there or clear it up once and for all? The situation is out of hand so that it is more important to get the job done  than being fair.

Organisations like Keep Britain Tidy and Bill Bryson’s CPRE are too reasonable for their efforts to make sufficient difference. We need it to be dealt with as a national emergency for, like climate change (whether man made or mainly due to natural causes) fly tipping and litter has now become so bad we are contaminating the whole planet.

The situation worldwide is so bad that there is a slick of waste – not the only one – estimated to be twice the size of France in the South Pacific with wild life attempting to eat plastic waste from it  they believe to be food. This is now beginning to contaminate the food chain.

Why is this idea important?

 

We need a major change in public thinking on fly tipping and litter led very energetically by the Government just like eventually led to a change from the norm in the last century on heavy drinking and driving, which used to be common place.

Existing laws do address waste on public land and establish a clear duty for Councils to clear it up within 48 hours following complaints. However, the law needs to be more effective and used very energetically rather than merely residing on the statute book.

As it stands, the laws is too light handed giving Councils every excuse to adopt limited and insufficiently robust efforts to deal with it. A few Councils are decidedly proactive but most quite the opposite. What laws there are allow resolution but only when the persons responsible can be identified. Where they cannot, you may find instances of fly tipping and litter left there permanently.

A very great concern is that there is no sufficiently applicable law, so action cannot be taken on private land unless the waste clearly is a health hazard.

So, what we need is:

1) That the law requires all people acting in a private, company or public role to be required unceasingly to adhere to certain minimum standards including their behaviour in regard to fly tipping and litter.

For example, such provisions need to cover your neighbour who at present can dump whatever he likes in his front garden or his back garden and turn it into a refuse dump with virtual impunity. If you are unfortunate enough to live in an area where this is prevalent, the value of your property will be affected but you have no means of compensation for any resultant loss. Why should you even have to put up with an unsightly mess in spaces to the front or the rear, in or away from public vision, even so that just looking from your upstairs window you have no choice but to see private property turned into an unsightly waste tip? Why cannot it even be made obligatory that the grass is regularly kept mowed and tidy instead of being allowed to turn into a weed infested mess as often is allowed to happen?

2) The law must be strengthened and worded clearly and unambiguously so that councils and rural authorities not only have the power but also the clear duty to clean up or have cleaned up all public and private land in urban, rural and unpopulated country areas regardless of who is responsible for leaving it there. This must include whatever has accumulated in the past and not only deal with future violations.

A few, very few enterprising councils have used people on Community Service Orders to clear up and this would be very effective if used land in urban, rural and unpopulated country areas as the norm.

3) The legal right for appointed officials to enter private land for the purpose of inspecting it for alleged unreasonable fly tipping and litter or complaints to that effect, such that a legal order must be issued, not merely may be issued, for its removal regardless of who is responsible for leaving it there within a designated time period. The officials must also be held legally liable if failing to do this when the circumstances justify it.

4) Harsher penalties for offences on fly tipping and litter affecting those on whose land the problems occur regardless of whether they are the parties responsible for leaving it there and a legal duty that will ensure these penalties are enforced rather than merely being on the statue book. A light touch is precisely the opposite of what now is needed.

Footnote – In order to further put this into perspective, led me add this.

Starting with concerns locally, I proceeded through my MP, then Joan Ryan to investigate the laws affecting fly tipping and litter and with her help took it to ministerial level and exchanged written and verbal discussion with others including the then minister Joan Ruddock to no avail.

I wrote to the officer in charge at my local council (Enfield), MPs. MEPs, the London Mayor (Ken then Boris) and members of the London Assembly, various organisations like the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and others. The majority of the few who did reply regarded my proposal as unfair that people on private land have to clear up even when it may be an inherited problem and not demonstrably their fault. They are right, but which is better, to leave it there or clear it up once and for all? The situation is out of hand so that it is more important to get the job done  than being fair.

Organisations like Keep Britain Tidy and Bill Bryson’s CPRE are too reasonable for their efforts to make sufficient difference. We need it to be dealt with as a national emergency for, like climate change (whether man made or mainly due to natural causes) fly tipping and litter has now become so bad we are contaminating the whole planet.

The situation worldwide is so bad that there is a slick of waste – not the only one – estimated to be twice the size of France in the South Pacific with wild life attempting to eat plastic waste from it  they believe to be food. This is now beginning to contaminate the food chain.

Make drinks manufacturers and fast food chains pay for litter

I only have to walk a few yards before I find cans and cartons in the road and on the pavement. It is impossible to enforce litter laws when object are thrown from cars etc. My suggestion would be to charge a fee for any items found directly by council workers back to the manufacturer/originator. If the manufaturer is being hit for the actionsof their customers, then they will pass on the cost by increasing the price of the item.Hopefully, they would also spend a bit more time encouraging their customers to dispose of the rubbish in a responsible manner.

Why is this idea important?

I only have to walk a few yards before I find cans and cartons in the road and on the pavement. It is impossible to enforce litter laws when object are thrown from cars etc. My suggestion would be to charge a fee for any items found directly by council workers back to the manufacturer/originator. If the manufaturer is being hit for the actionsof their customers, then they will pass on the cost by increasing the price of the item.Hopefully, they would also spend a bit more time encouraging their customers to dispose of the rubbish in a responsible manner.

Fines & community service for litter bugs

Please can we raise funds by prosecuting litter louts with fines and making them do community service picking up litter. I am wholly sick of wading ankle deep through the stuff in our local park and on our beaches. There can never be any real sense of community if people do not look after what they have? What is the point of having littering laws and never enforcing them? Either bin the law or use it to good effect. The money raised from prosecuting these people could be used to pay for more "bobbies on the beat."

I want to be able to walk my dog without worrying about whether he'll come home with cut feet (again) from broken bottles.

Why is this idea important?

Please can we raise funds by prosecuting litter louts with fines and making them do community service picking up litter. I am wholly sick of wading ankle deep through the stuff in our local park and on our beaches. There can never be any real sense of community if people do not look after what they have? What is the point of having littering laws and never enforcing them? Either bin the law or use it to good effect. The money raised from prosecuting these people could be used to pay for more "bobbies on the beat."

I want to be able to walk my dog without worrying about whether he'll come home with cut feet (again) from broken bottles.

Introduce a Litter Tax and ring fence the proceeds for litter pickersr

Introduce a Litter Tax on the items most often found littering the streets – say 1p on each of the following collected at the point of manufacture, import or issue – the proceeds to be used for additional litter pickers from the unemployed:

  • Soft Drinks Cans
  • Plastic drinks bottles
  • Cigarette packets
  • Lighters and matches
  • Packets or crisps, snacks
  • Chocolate bars and sweets
  • Plastic bags
  • Supermarket till receipts
  • Bus and train tickets

Why is this idea important?

Introduce a Litter Tax on the items most often found littering the streets – say 1p on each of the following collected at the point of manufacture, import or issue – the proceeds to be used for additional litter pickers from the unemployed:

  • Soft Drinks Cans
  • Plastic drinks bottles
  • Cigarette packets
  • Lighters and matches
  • Packets or crisps, snacks
  • Chocolate bars and sweets
  • Plastic bags
  • Supermarket till receipts
  • Bus and train tickets

Solving the litter menace

I would like to see a compulsory £1 deposit for all drink containers, cigarette packets and fast food containers. The £1 can be refunded either at a depository at all major supermarkets (funded by the manufacturers of these products) or when a similar product is purchased at a later date (i.e. no further deposit would be required). This system would encourage the mindless morons, who eat and drink outside their own homes but feel at liberty to dump their rubbish all over the countryside, to return their empty containers or would reward those, such as myself, who pick up the rubbish left by said morons.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see a compulsory £1 deposit for all drink containers, cigarette packets and fast food containers. The £1 can be refunded either at a depository at all major supermarkets (funded by the manufacturers of these products) or when a similar product is purchased at a later date (i.e. no further deposit would be required). This system would encourage the mindless morons, who eat and drink outside their own homes but feel at liberty to dump their rubbish all over the countryside, to return their empty containers or would reward those, such as myself, who pick up the rubbish left by said morons.

Litter in Towns

Every shopkeeper/trader in the country should be responsible for cleaning and clearing mess/litter from the immediate area outside of their shop/store. 

This would be from the side boundary of the shop to the centre line of the road in front of the shop, or 20m from the shop front.

Why is this idea important?

Every shopkeeper/trader in the country should be responsible for cleaning and clearing mess/litter from the immediate area outside of their shop/store. 

This would be from the side boundary of the shop to the centre line of the road in front of the shop, or 20m from the shop front.

Litter Clearance – Trunk Roads

The Environment Act 1990 gives the responsibility for clearing litter from the trunk road network to the local authorities through which the road passes (ie the local District and Borough Councils).  This means that there are several authorities responsible along most trunk roads. 

Clearing litter from a high-speed road is expensive, time-consuming and dangerous.  The local authorities and their cleansing contractors are not the right authorities to have this job.  All other aspects of managing and maintaining the trunk road network is the responsibility of the Highways Agency – who have the properly accredited personnel.

Clearing litter from the trunk road network should be given to the Highways Agency (along with the funding to do it).  They would be able to do it cheaper because they could coordinate the work with their other maintenance activities and the appearance of the trunk roads would improve.

This requires an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Why is this idea important?

The Environment Act 1990 gives the responsibility for clearing litter from the trunk road network to the local authorities through which the road passes (ie the local District and Borough Councils).  This means that there are several authorities responsible along most trunk roads. 

Clearing litter from a high-speed road is expensive, time-consuming and dangerous.  The local authorities and their cleansing contractors are not the right authorities to have this job.  All other aspects of managing and maintaining the trunk road network is the responsibility of the Highways Agency – who have the properly accredited personnel.

Clearing litter from the trunk road network should be given to the Highways Agency (along with the funding to do it).  They would be able to do it cheaper because they could coordinate the work with their other maintenance activities and the appearance of the trunk roads would improve.

This requires an amendment to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.