It’s not called the ‘Swachh UK Abhiyan’ yet, but the Theresa May government on Monday announced new plans to tackle heaps of rubbish in public places that includes doubling fines and car owners being held liable even if someone else throws litter from the vehicle.
Fines will go up from £75 to £150 as part of efforts to cut down on nearly £800 million of taxpayer’s money spent every year to clean public places, Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom said, unveiling the government’s first Litter Strategy for England.
On the major and costly issue facing England, Leadsom said: “Litter is something that affects us all – blighting our countryside, harming our wildlife, polluting our seas, spoiling our towns, and giving visitors a poor impression of our country”.
“We want to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it, and tackling litter is an important part of our drive to make the country a better place to live and visit”.
New measures drawn up by environment, transport and communities departments include updating the ‘binfrastructure’ through creative new designs and better distribution of public litter bins, making it easier for people to discard rubbish.
Worst litter hotspots in 25 places across highways in England are to be targeted, besides plans to create a ‘green generation’ by educating children to lead the fight against litter through an increased number of eco-schools and boosting participation in national clean-up days.
Communities minister Marcus Jones said: “It’s time we consigned litter louts and fly-tippers to the scrap heap of history. For too long a selfish minority have got away with spoiling our streets. It’s time we sent them a clear message – clean up or face having to cough up”.
The Litter Strategy also outlines measures to protect seas, oceans and marine life from pollution, building on the success of the 5 pence plastic bag charge, which has led to a 40% decrease in bags found on the beach.