Government must clean up its act on litter

FOODSERVICE COMPANIES are among an influential group of campaigns, businesses and member organisations calling for an advisory committee on litter.

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McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Vacherin and Pret A Manger have all called on the government to take the lead on litter following years of “fragmented” efforts and campaigns that have left the country with a £1bn clean-up bill and no discernable improvement.


A total of 23 signatories – also including the British Beer & Pub Association, Keep Britain Tidy and the Foodservice Packaging Association – have written to ministers at Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government, calling for the delivery of a national litter action plan.


Litter levels have “barely improved” in the past 12 years, according to the Communities and Local Government Committee’s report in March. The group of MPs also called for a national litter strategy for England.


Fast food litter increased 20% last year. Some of the larger restaurant chains have policies in place for staff to carry out localised litter “pick-ups”, but they are the exception rather than the rule.


Solutions likely to be considered in any new national plan include the introduction of on-pack information on all fast food packaging. Levies on chewing gum and cigarettes, as well as disposable coffee cups, have also been proposed. Scotland is currently mulling over a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans and wants England to follow suit.