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Organisations unite against car litter
Tuesday 17th May
MP’s urged to back vital amendment to the Localism Bill

Today, Keep Britain Tidy, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the Local Government Association (LGA) jointly call on MPs and the Government to tackle the issue of littering from cars.

New proposals, suggested in an amendment to the Localism Bill that is currently going through Parliament could give councils extra powers to tackle the problem that is contributing to the nation’s £858M litter bill.

If the amendment is accepted it will become easier for councils to fine people seen throwing rubbish from cars, even if they are not the driver or vehicle owner.

Public opinion on this issue was tested recently in an online poll.  It revealed that more than 90% of those asked agreed that car drivers should be fined for allowing people to drop litter from their car.

This reinforces a previous Keep Britain Tidy campaign where the public reported more than 9,000 incidents of littering from cars online.

Phil Barton, chief executive, Keep Britain Tidy said: “Today Parliament has the opportunity to make a change that will make those who litter from cars responsible for their actions.

“In what could be an historic move, this amendment will give councils greater powers to tackle littering from vehicles, and there is widespread public support with nine out of 10 supporting the move.”

The LGA supports the call. Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman of the LGA’s Environment Board, said: “Why should hundreds of millions of pounds of council taxpayers’ money be spent every year clearing up after these lazy litter louts? The nation’s roads are blighted with fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts and empty bottles, but councils are hamstrung when it comes to taking action against thoughtless individuals dropping rubbish. As well as being unsightly, road litter is difficult, costly and dangerous to remove as it requires staff to stand on or by the side of a carriageway putting them at risk from oncoming traffic.

“At a time when councils are having to provide vital services to residents on increasingly stretched budgets, this is an expense they can ill afford. Being able to crackdown on this issue will mean more money available to plough into frontline services like care for the elderly, protecting vulnerable children and keeping the streets safe.”

Shaun Spiers, CPRE Chief Executive, said: “The state of many of our roadsides and verges is a disgrace. We end up closing roads and spending huge amounts of public money cleaning road sides. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

“In almost all law relating to vehicles it is the driver who is held responsible and culpable for their passengers’ actions. Litter louts do not deserve any special treatment. This amendment will give councils the power they need to stop road side littering.”

Littering from cars is a nationwide problem – almost a quarter of people admit to dropping litter from their vehicle – affecting roads in rural and urban locations. Keep Britain Tidy believes the Localism Bill presents a unique opportunity for the Government to show they share our concern for stopping the careless few spoiling our country’s road junctions, roundabouts, country lanes and lay-bys.

As well as being unsightly and damaging the environment littering from moving vehicles can also be dangerous to pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. The dropping of lit cigarettes can also cause wildfires.


The amendment has been tabled by Ian Mearns MP. For more information about tomorrow’s debate see

Keep Britain Tidy is the anti-litter charity for England. We are passionate about cleaner greener places and run Eco-Schools, Green Flag Award for parks (in partnership with BTVC and GreenSpace), and Blue Flag/Quality Coast Awards for beaches.  TV star Kirstie Allsopp is our ambassador. To find out more about us and to become a supporter visit

The Local Government Association is the single voice for local government. As a voluntary membership body, funded almost entirely by the subscriptions of our 422 member authorities in England and Wales, we lobby and campaign for changes in policy and legislation on behalf of our member councils and the people and communities they serve. We work with and on behalf of our membership to deliver our shared vision of an independent and confident local government sector, where local priorities drive public service improvement in every city, town and village and every councillor acts as a champion for their ward and for the people they represent.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our 57,000 members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Bill Bryson, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.



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