Local authorities and fast food restaurants have come together to fight the scourge of people throwing litter out of their vehicle.
This year’s Love Essex campaign will highlight the recently increased fines that people throwing litter from their car face. These range from fixed penalty notices of up to £150 to fines of up to £2,500 plus costs upon conviction in a court.
Banners will be displayed at fifteen KFC and three McDonald’s’ drive through restaurants, and take-away packaging will also be branded with “Can you afford to throw £150 away?” A humorous video has also been produced as part of the group’s attempt to spread the message via a social media campaign.
Fined for discarding cigarette
On Thursday 29 August, a man from Maldon was convicted in Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court for littering a cigarette butt from his vehicle in Parkway, Chelmsford. He was fined and ordered to pay costs which came to £757.
Keeping Essex clean and tidy costs the tax payer over £17 million a year and with decreasing local authority budgets year-on-year, the demand and pressure put on providing services such as street cleansing continues to rise.
“This year, the anticipated cost of keeping Epping Forest District clean and tidy will be around £1.4 million and picking up other people’s litter is an expensive part of that. It is literally throwing money away which should be spent on more important things,” said Councillor Nigel Avey, Portfolio Holder Contract & Technical Services. “We have seen the negative impact of litter on nature and wildlife, as well as in our oceans through programmes such as Blue Planet. A lot of that litter such as bottles, food packaging, straws, cans and cups, has been wind-blown from further inland, eventually turning up on our coasts. It is now even more vital we all do whatever is necessary to save our environment, protect our wildlife and eradicate the bad littering habit.”
Spread the message
Huw James, Managing Director of KEFCO Sales Limited which is a KFC franchise, said: “I am proud to be a part of this campaign and to help spread the message to customers who visit my restaurants. When it comes to eating food-on-the-go, we want to encourage that all litter is disposed of responsibly. That’s why, together KFC and McDonald’s, will be applying 300,000 reminder stickers to our packaging during the course of this campaign.”
In Epping Forest District, we are asking everyone to act if they see someone throwing litter from their vehicle, by taking the registration number and reporting it to Epping Forest District Council by calling 01992 564000.
To find out more about Love Essex and this campaign, visit www.loveessex.org/binit