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Love Essex campaign puts pressure on litter louts

Love Essex campaign puts pressure on litter louts

Cllr Wendy Schmitt with KFC and McDonald's staff at McDonald's, Braintree

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 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 groups attempted to spread the message on social media.

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 the Braintree District clean and tidy will be around £1.58 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,” says Councillor Wendy Schmitt, Cabinet Member for Environment and Place.  “We have seen the negative impact of litter on nature and wildlife, as well as in our oceans on 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 littering bad habit.”

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 all litter is disposed of responsibly. That’s why, together KFC and McDonalds, will be applying 300,000 reminder stickers to our packaging during the course of this campaign.”

If you see someone throwing litter from their vehicle, take the registration plate number and report them using Braintree District Council’s ‘See it – Report it’ service www.braintree.gov/uk/carlitter or call 01376 552525.

To find out more about Love Essex and this campaign, visit www.loveessex.org/binit