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Summary of government’s Litter Strategy

On January 18, 2019, in DEFRA, Litter Strategy, by PeterSilverman

This is how DEFRA summarised the Litter Strategy  for England on page 91 of their 25 year Environment Plan

Reducing litter and littering

The Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to clean up the country and cut both litter and littering behaviours by means of better education, enforcementand ‘binfrastructure’ (the design, numberand location of public litter bins and so on).

The Litter Strategy also sets out a compelling economic case for all businesses to invest in anti-litter activities– perhaps by adopting voluntary measures that aim to increase recycling and reduce litter, or through product design, behavioural research and investment in campaigns. We will also work with relevant industries to tackle particular red flags such as discarded fast-food packaging, smoking-related litter and chewing gum.

We will deliver a new national anti-litter campaign and work on developing a culture that teaches young people not to litter.

We will take stronger action against those who litter. Subject to parliamentary approval, new regulations will give councils outside London the power to fine keepers of vehicles from which litter is thrown, and we have laid new regulations to increase fixed penalties for littering and related offences. We will provide improved guidance on the appropriate and proportionate use of these powers, and encourage councils to be transparent about enforcement activity.

Finally, we will seek to improve the infrastructure in place for people to dispose of litter. Working with Highways England we will tackle litter on the Strategic Road Network and update the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse to clarify expected standards. We willproduce new guidance on ‘binfrastructure’to help local areas reduce levels of litter, as set out in our Litter Strategy for England. We are committed to encouraging the use of behavioural insights to develop and test new ways to reduce litter. We have also launched anew ‘litter innovation fund’ to pilot andevaluate small scale local research projects that have the potential for wider application.

Actions we will take include:

We will continue to implement the Government’s Litter Strategy forEngland, including:

  •   Introducing new regulations to improve local authorities’enforcement powers, supported by new guidance on its proportionate use.
  •   Developing a national anti- littering campaign, led by the government and funded by the private sector.
  •   Distributing a £450,000 litter Innovation Fund to pilot, implement and evaluate small scale local research projects that could be replicated more widely.



It is not clear if compliance with the statutory  “Duty to keep land and highways clear of litter” would be enforceable by the new Office for Environmental Protection?

We will campaign to ensure that they will have this power when the legislation is enacted.

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Extract from HE’s Protocol for joint working on Highway Cleansing issues between Sub Regional Local Authority Districts, Highways England and their Contractors

Section 89(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on the Secretary of State in respect of motorways, and on local authorities in respect of all other publicly maintainable highways in their area, to ensure that the highway or road is, so far as is practicable, kept clean. This is in addition to the section 89(1) requirement which relates to litter and refuse and therefore means removal of detritus.

In such cases the EPA requires the duty bodies to ensure their roads are kept clear of litter and refuse as far as is “practicable”.

“Practicable” however simply means “physically possible” without the need to take account of cost, time and trouble. This is in contrast to “reasonably practicable” where these considerations would come into play. Local authorities cannot therefore use traffic management as an excuse for not carrying out cleansing work on trunk roads …

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Litter laws – Massachussets

On December 21, 2018, in Litter fines, by PeterSilverman

Local Government in England

On December 3, 2018, in Legislation, Local Authorities, by PeterSilverman

The Local Government Act 1972 split the country into Metropolitan County Councils and Non- Metropolitan County Councils.  Each were divided into District Councils. Some functions were carried out at the County level and others at the District level. This regime still exists in some areas. However…

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Since 2012 the London Boroughs have had the power to issue a civil law fine to the registered keeper of a vehicle if litter was seen being thrown from it.

In 2014 new legislation gave the government the power to introduce Regulations extending these powers to the rest of England.  A key point was that only bodies who had the statutory duty to keep the highway / land, where the offence took place, clear of litter could be given the authority to issue the penalty notices.

For offences committed on the highway this meant Highways England (for all motorways and some trunk roads) and the relevant local authority (for all other highways).

Following sustained pressure from Lord Marlesford in April 2018 the government finally introduced the Regulations but limited the powers to certain categories of local authority and left Highways England out altogether.

People can therefore continue throw litter out of their vehicles onto motorway slip roads with impunity.

The Regulations do not appear to apply to those unitary councils, such as the City of Bristol, which were once district councils.

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A project piloted in the Midlands “to facilitate better co-ordination of litter clearing operations” between local authorities and Highways England was launched in 2105. Continue reading »