Anti-littering campaigner doubtful new car littering laws will make an impact
Updated 10:01am Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
A CAMPAIGNER against litter has cast doubts over the effectiveness of government proposals aimed at cracking down on people littering from their cars.
If passed, the proposals put forward in the House of Lords last month would allow councils to issue fines directly to vehicle owners for any litter thrown from their vehicles. At present the actual litterer has to be identified before a fine can be issued.
Tim Barnes, who heads Cotswold anti-litter campaign group, Litter Heroes, believes the new proposals would not act as a deterrent for litterers and would be hard to enforce because of the speed of moving vehicles.
“I think anything that will give fines to the car drivers is good but if you think about the number of people that will get fined it would be a very small number,” he said.
“It is a good idea but it is going to be hard for a PCSO to catch someone littering when they are in a moving car.”
Mr Barnes said he thought a better solution to car littering would be for the government to introduce a scheme known as a Bottle Bill which would allow a refundable deposit for every aluminium can and plastic bottle bought.
Bottle bills have been introduced in several countries such as the USA and Canada and provide a monetary incentive to return a container for recycling.
The new littering proposals were raised by the Conservative peer Lord Marlesford as an amendment during a debate in the House of Lords on the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill onJanuary, 20.
Lord Marlesford, along with Keep Britain Tidy and other groups, has been campaigning for several years to get the law changed so that councils can issue fines directly to registered owners for littering which takes place from their vehicles.
Lord Marlesford said that he hoped the measure would bring about a "behaviour change" and cut cleaning costs for local authorities.
He said it was time for motorists to take responsibility for their actions and those of their passengers.
Lord Marlesford said: “It is wonderful that we are about to make a great step forward”
Cotswold District Council leader Lynden Stowe backed the proposals and said anything that is trying to help keep the Cotswolds clean should be welcomed.