Tell the Government: End littering in the UK to protect animals and the environment

Littering is a big problem in the UK today. Not only does it make the UK look like a massive dumping ground, it damages ecosystems and results in thousands of animals being hurt and killed every year in England.

The RSPCA has dealt with many litter related calls including a fox cub with its head stuck in a wheel hub, a badger cub with a plastic can holder embedded in its neck and a cat that lacerated its paw on some broken glass.
Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of many fish and birds. These are just some examples — the RSPCA receives over 7,000 litter–related calls per year.

The UK is a litter-ridden country compared to most of Europe. And it is getting worse. Litter costs the taxpayer £850 million a year to clear up. Change is needed.

We want to demand the following:
  • Get the Government to invest more in behaviour change campaigns to prevent littering.
  • Consider increasing the fixed penalty notice for litter from its current £80 maximum.
  • Bring forward legislation requiring shops & restaurants to keep the perimeters of their premises free from litter.
  • Ensure that a portion of tobacco levies is allocated to local councils to help pay for the cost of street cleaning.

Sign now to tell DEFRA, the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to create a national litter strategy for the UK, with a clear framework for action.
To DEFRA, Littering damages ecosystems and results in thousands of animals being hurt and killed every year in the UK.

The RSPCA has dealt with a fox cub with its head stuck in a wheel hub, a badger cub with a plastic can holder embedded in its neck and a cat that lacerated its paw on some broken glass. Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of many fish and birds. These are just some examples — the RSPCA receives over 7,000 litter–related calls per year.

The UK is a litter–ridden country compared to most of Europe. Litter costs the taxpayer £850 million a year to clear up. Change is needed. The Select Committee on Communities and Local Government recently published a report on the state of littering and fly tipping in England, which contains a number of recommendations for action.

There has been a 20% increase in fast-food litter in the last year.

The Government should bring forward legislation requiring all shops, restaurants and retail food outlets to keep the perimeters of their premises free from litter.

The most frequently littered items are chewing gum and smokers’ materials. The Government should ensure that a portion of any increase in tobacco levies is allocated to local councils to help pay for the cost street cleaning. Levels of fly-tipping increased by 20% in the last year.

There were 852,000 reported incidents but only 2,000 convictions in the courts. The Government should introduce a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping for household items — the bulk of the incidents.

In the end it is individuals who litter and fly–tip their unwanted goods, and it is this behaviour which needs to change. The Government should invest in campaigns to prevent littering.

The Government should also consider increasing the fixed penalty notice for litter from its current £80 maximum. I urge you to create a national litter strategy for England, with a clear framework for action.

[Your comments]

Sincerely,

[Your name]
Update #12 years ago
Care2 delivered this petition to the Government and received an official response containing lots of promises in 2016. We've now given the Government time to fulfil them. Read their response and Care2's analysis of their progress so far here. Keep sharing this petition to make sure the Government fulfil all their promises!
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