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In Your Area launches litter fines widget

In Your Area, Reach’s local news, information and community platform is launching a free new #Don’tTrashOurFuture litter fines widget which will identify the success and failures of councils issuing litter fines up and down the country.

In Your Area launches litter fines widget
Ed Walker: “The Don’t Trash our Future fines widget builds on the campaign we started last year.” Photograph: John Cameron on Unsplash.

The tech only requires users to insert their postcode. The widget is being released as lockdown measures start to be relaxed and as scenes of discarded plastics, nappies and beer bottles have become more prevalent, blemishing land and coastlines, say the publishers.

People can access the widget by visiting www.donttrashourfuture.co.uk. The litter fines widget, with data sourced under the Freedom of Information requests to councils across the country, shows:

  • How many fines have been issued and paid over the last 5 years by each local council
  • The amount of money collected by authorities issuing fines
  • The amount of prosecutions made from dropping litter or waste.

Ed Walker, Editor-in-Chief for InYourArea said: “The Don’t Trash our Future fines widget builds on the campaign we started last year to deliver real change towards littering by local councils and members of the public. If you want more to be done, sign our petition!”

Jeremy Paxman, Clean Up Britain patron said: "This is a beautiful country. And we treat it as if it were a rubbish dump. For years, chucking litter has been a crime without a punishment, because councils are so weak-knee-ed. You might as well put up a sign saying Huddersfield (or wherever) welcomes litter louts. Bring us your plastic bags, your sweet-wrappers, your Styrofoam burger boxes, your aluminium cans. We love living among them."

John Read, Clean Up Britain founder said: “Councils often talk about responses to littering being 'proportionate'. They miss the point completely I'm afraid. A £100 fine is not proportionate, it's pathetic. Councils need to understand that only behavioural change will resolve Britain's litter epidemic. A £100 fine, reduced to £50 (if paid in 14 days) is not going to change anyone's behaviour - especially as Clean Up Britain's own research shows that most Councils either don't give out any fines at all, or less than one a week on average. If local areas are to stop being litter-ridden - which most are - then we need serious fines and serious enforcement in this country. We have neither at the moment.”

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