SELFISH litterbugs should face the prospect of £1,000 fines, say campaigners.
With tourists trashing beaches and beauty spots around the country in the wake of the lockdown easing, InYourArea and Clean Up Britain joined forces to launch a nationwide anti-littering campaign called Don’t Trash Our Future.
Spearheaded by a number of famous faces including JLS singer JB Gill, the campaign encourages people to organise local clean-ups, push for higher fines and put pressure on councils to enforce penalties.
The campaign calls for volunteers to organise neighbourhood clean-ups in August and September tackling “grot spots” from parks and beaches to scrubland or messy roadsides.
Supporters are also being asked to sign a petiton calling for the maximum fixed penalty fine for dropping litter in the UK to be raised to £1,000.
Councils are called on to play their part too. Research by Clean Up Britain found the vast majority of local authorities in the UK were not using their enforcement powers enough – with 72% of councils in England and Wales either not enforcing the law at all, or not enforcing it effectively.
Those questioned said littering had got worse since lockdown began to ease and made them miserable, angry, sad or depressed. And the vast majority (97%) thought councils should enforce the law properly.
Don’t Trash Our Future has been backed by a number of high-profile names including JLS singer-turned-farmer JB Gill, a passionate advocate for farming and the environment who has made numerous appearances on Springwatch and Countryfile.
He said: “It’s great to see that people recognise that litter is a public health concern and a major problem.”
The campaign has also received the backing of broadcaster and animal rights campaigner Clare Balding and her partner Alice Arnold, along with TV presenter Gabby Logan and her husband, former Scottish international rugby star Kenny.
Journalist and television presenter Jeremy Paxman is Clean Up Britain’s patron. He said: “It depresses people because mucky surroundings make them feel worthless. It’s expensive – councils across the UK spend over a billion pounds a year trying to clean it up.”