Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Litter levels fall to five-year low

Litter levels have fallen 5% to a five-year low and the number of local authorities issuing fines for litter has shot up, according to newly released Government figures.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that there had been a 45% increase in the number of local authorities issuing fines for litter and an improvement in collection rates for fines. The findings came from this years Local Environmental Quality Survey of England (LEQSE).

Local Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw said: Performance on litter has moved to satisfactory levels, which is very good news.

A closer look at the figures revealed that levels were being maintained for many types of litter but for others, such as fast food litter, levels had gone up. Drinks-related litter, for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic litter had also gone up over the last three years. So clearly there remains a lot of work for us to do in order to bring about a significant rise in standards, Bradshaw added.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued for local environmental offences increased from 29,086 in 2004/05 to 38,062 in 2005/06 and the payment rate went up from 53% to 57% in the same time.

However, 22% of local authorities are achieving payment rates of less than 50%, which is not good enough. To continue to accept poor payment rates sends a signal to the wider community that an authority doesn't take enforcement seriously and to those that don't pay that they have nothing to fear, Bradshaw said.

The survey results come at a time when council leaders are considering using shock tactics to make the public aware of the scale of street littering.

Local Government Association environment board chairman Paul Bettison said: Using shock tactics like stopping street cleaning services for 24 hours is an effective way of making people face up to how much litter is dropped on our street every day.

 

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.