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Keep Britain Tidy highlights litter's £1bn cost

Keep Britain Tidy has published a report highlighting the costs of dealing with litter and its negative impact on local authorities, businesses and the environment.

The report, “Taking a stand on litter - which side of the fence are you on?” points out that over 30 million tonnes of litter are collected from English streets every year, costing England £1bn.

Some 71% of local authorities and land managers told the campaigning group if litter costs were reduced they would either reinvest the money back into services or council tax/service charges would be reduced.

Local authorities have had their budgets slashed in the past two spending reviews, 33% in 2010 and 10% in the recent review for 2015.

Keep Britain Tidy urged the Government to do more on the issue, suggesting measures such as: improving litter infrastructure, increasing fines and enforcement, introducing deposit schemes on containers and levies on disposable products.

The report also highlighted how litter can be harmful for brand reputation. Public perception of a brand is negatively affected when its packaging is seen as litter, and this can lower the price customers are willing to pay for the brand’s products, resulting in up to a 2% decrease in a company’s revenues.

Keep Britain Tidy encouraged businesses to work on a voluntary commitment to reduce litter.

“It is time for the Government, businesses and the rest of the population to make a choice and act on it,” said Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton.

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