Responding to the Keep Britain Tidy study*, Keith Ross, deputy chair of the LGA's environment board said:
'However, stopping litter louts and other 'enviromental criminals' is always better than cleaning up after them and we will continue to lobby government for more investment into education and awareness campaigns to change littering behaviour which is all too common in this country. A combination of education and tougher action against these people is the key to long term improvements in local environmental quality.
'Councils welcome the stronger powers proposed in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill to take action against people who drop litter, fly-tip and deface our streets and buildings with graffiti and fly-posters. Many councils have developed tough enforcement policies to tackle environmental problems in their areas, whether this is fly-tipping, dog-fouling or littering. But with public expectation in this area at a premium, the government must act now to reverse the decline in funding for environmental services and invest more in skills and training so councils have all the necessary tools to deliver clean, safe and green neighbourhoods.'
The LGA worked with McDonalds Restaurants Ltd, Defra, Encams and three pilot local authorities (Sheffield, Maidstone and Taunton Deane) during 2004 to develop a Voluntary Code of Practice for litter from 'Food on the Go'. The code of practice encourages partnership agreements to reduce litter between councils and local stores that sell food and drink 'to go'. To download a copy of the code visit Defra's website: http:www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localenv/litter/index.htm