William Eichler 23 January 2023

Triple on-the-spot littering fines, think tank urges

Triple on-the-spot littering fines, think tank urges image
Image: Alex Daniels / Shutterstock.com.

A think tank has called for a ‘new and revitalised’ litter strategy that would include tripling the level of fines and ranking councils on how well they enforce anti-littering laws.

A new report from Policy Exchange has called for a ‘significantly more aggressive approach’ to tackling littering and fly-tipping, which together cost the UK is £1bn.

The think tank argued that on-the-spot fines should be increased from £65 to £195, and maximum fines from £150 to £450.

Policy Exchange also proposed the creation of a league table, published as part of DEFRA’s ‘Litter Dashboard’, aimed at ranking councils on how actively they use their powers to tackle litter and littering behaviour.

It argued that a league table would incentivise councils to develop local litter strategies, enable residents to hold councils to account, and instil a competitive spirit across regions and between metro-mayors.

The report also called for a large scale pilot of a digitised Deposit Return Scheme and for the rewarding of companies that manufacture sustainable packaging.

In the foreword to the report, former secretary of state for communities and local government Lord Pickles said: ‘This paper makes a timely contribution to this important issue, where too many local authorities are not enforcing the law.

‘Measures to drive behavioural change such as introducing a digitised Deposit Return scheme and rewarding sustainable change on the part of companies that manufacture and produce packaging are all remedies that could make a difference, particularly when combined with more substantial fines, consistent enforcement and a council league table to show which local authorities are gripping this problem.

‘Addressing litter and the physical environment gives the clearest signal that a local authority respects its residents. Significant intervention on this issue is long overdue.’

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