Litter bugs

May 25, 2008

Local councils are going to be using CCTV cameras to crack down on littering motorists and passengers in a bid to clean up our streets.

The litter CCTV cameras are going to be put into action for a pilot trial this summer in London. Those caught littering with registered vehicles will receive a fixed penalty of £80 if caught on the candid camera.

There is an estimated 30 million tonnes of litter collected from our streets each year with 1.3 million of which collected from road sides alone.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) the founders of the ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign is encouraging the scheme. Bill Bryson, the president of the CPRE believes that councils are still not doing enough to tackle fly-tipping with around a staggering 2.6 million incidents occurring last year. It cost £73 million pounds to clear it up however only 1,700 of the prosecutors were fined.

According to Bryson he believes that the councils should become stricter with littering offenders. That schools should offer their pupils more information about the consequences of littering and that road as well as rail authorities should have a more serious attitude toward cleaning up.

The launch of the ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign took place in London’s Leicester Square this April where Bryson was accompanied by the Wombles- the ultimate litter pickers. However it seems that it’s going to take more than the Wombles to clean up our street as Bryson stated that “all the evidence shows that litter is getting worse and we need the relevant authorities to be more active, rather than rely on Litter Saints to pick it all up for us”.

The CPRE have emphasized that cleaning up our streets should be a community activity, that we should clean our streets together. They suggest setting up litter groups or by joining existing ones which you can find on www.litteraction.org.uk. The CPRE also suggests that you say no to plastic bags and use their posters to raise awareness of the campaign and to ultimately be more eco-friendly.

Bill Bryson getting involved in community litter picks

Image from flickr by iambigred 

Deposit schemes are another way in which can help towards keeping litter off the streets and generally being more eco-friendly. This encourages people to return their used drink containers which in return they receive an amount of the paid costs that they previously paid for them. This has already been a successful scheme in countries such as Germany and Denmark who achieved an 86% return for all drinks containers.

To find out more on how you can help to work towards making your community greener visit www.cpre.org.uk and join their campaign.

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