Government Announces Litter Strategy For England

national-litter-strategyGovernment has announced that it will develop a Litter Strategy for England, aiming to “set the context for ongoing anti-litter activity”.

The announcement was made in the Government’s response to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s seventh report of session 2014-15 on litter and fly-tipping in England.

The report sets out a series of recommendations for Government, including the establishment of a litter strategy for England. In response, Government said that it is watching with interest the progress being made by Hubbub and INCPEN (the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) in “bringing together a wide range of key stakeholders, including Keep Britain Tidy, to discuss some of these issues in more detail.”

“We will therefore seek to work with local government and relevant stakeholders to develop a national Litter Strategy which clarifies the contributions that different sectors can make to tackling litter, and to set the context for ongoing anti-litter activity”

It said: “We will therefore seek to work with local government and relevant stakeholders to develop a national Litter Strategy which clarifies the contributions that different sectors can make to tackling litter, and to set the context for ongoing anti-litter activity.”

It also agreed with the Committee, which said that local councils can play a key role
in co-ordinating the local activity of volunteers, businesses and other initiatives such as Community Payback Schemes that focus on litter removal, as well as carrying out their statutory roles in respect of street cleansing, providing infrastructure and enforcement.

“We would strongly encourage councils to monitor and evaluate the anti-litter activities carried out in their area, so that effective approaches can be identified and shared,” it said.

National Litter Survey

The Government’s decision to create a national litter strategy has been welcomed by Keep Britain Tidy, and reflects the charity’s vigorous campaigning for government leadership on the issue of litter.

However, the continuing failure to back this up with a national litter survey risks the ability to effectively deliver on a new strategy, it says.

Allison Ogden-Newton – “The Government appears to have taken on board calls from Keep Britain Tidy for leadership on the issue of litter. However, without a regular survey of litter around the country, it’s difficult to envisage how we can have an effective litter strategy”

Keep Britain Tidy also believes that the Government has missed clear opportunities to take specific action on littering from vehicles and on cigarette littering, currently the number one littered item in the country.

Chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The Government appears to have taken on board calls from Keep Britain Tidy for leadership on the issue of litter. However, without a regular survey of litter around the country, it’s difficult to envisage how we can have an effective litter strategy.

“It is also disappointing to see a continuing emphasis on tackling litter and fly-tipping at a local level without any acknowledgement of the impact of austerity on local authorities’ ability to deal with these issues.

“Keep Britain Tidy is looking forward to working with the Government on tackling the important social issue of litter and picking up the issues raised in the government’s response to the recent select committee inquiry on litter.”

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