The first ever Litter Strategy for England in April 2017 set out 36 commitments and actions to contribute to cleaning up the country and delivering a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation.
The first annual report sets out progress against these commitments, identifies what actions will be taken forward in the next year and offers case studies from members of the Litter Strategy Advisory Group.
Of the 36 actions, four have been completed, twenty one are in progress, eight are behind the original schedule and three have yet to start.
The main focus has been on regulating for the new powers and penalties for councils, the launch of the Litter Innovation Fund, and development of a new approach to measuring litter.
Resource minister, Thérèse Coffey MP – “We have increased the maximum fixed penalty for littering and given councils in Eng land new powers to tackle littering from vehicles. Those changes came into force in April 2018. It is for councils now to use these powers and some are already taking advantage of them.”
Defra has also taken forward work to assess the extent of litter on trunk roads, although the poor weather in Q1 2018 delayed the collection and assessment of this data.
Highways England has also organised the removal of over 10 000 bags of litter from the 25 litter hotspots, and increased its engagement with councils on the timing of maintenance and giving access to make it easier to plan for and safer to remove litter.
Activity this next year will include a consultation on a deposit return scheme for single use drinks containers, the second round of the Innovation Fund, a new national anti-littering campaign and further work with councils and civic society.
Resource minister, Thérèse Coffey MP, said: “We have already fulfilled some commitments, initially focussing on implementing improved enforcement powers for councils and others responsible for keeping land clear of litter and refuse.
“We have increased the maximum fixed penalty for littering and given councils in Eng land new powers to tackle littering from vehicles. Those changes came into force in April 2018. It is for councils now to use these powers and some are already taking advantage of them.”