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Should manufacturers fit the bill for litter bugs?

Should manufacturers foot the bill for litter bugsA trade association representing the UK’s resource and waste management industry has said that transferring the cost of litter picking could save councils as much as £300 million per annum.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has produced a policy paper which suggests companies who create the most frequently littered products could pay for their clean up as a way of helping councils to save money.

The paper claims that councils are spending close to £800 million every year in order to clean litter from public places at a time when budgets are being cut and savings need to be made.

They highlight the problems of smoking litter, fast food litter and chewing gum which are among the most frequently littered materials in the UK. Their paper looks at ways that the producers of these materials could take more responsibility for wastage and even pay the costs of clean ups.

Some of the schemes suggested in the past include asking cigarette manufacturers to foot the bill for the cost of clean ups. This could be done by using money from existing levies to either pay the bill or run campaigns which would seek to change the behaviour of cigarette users.

This follows on from comments from MP’s last year who suggested that fast food outlets, chewing gum manufacturers and tobacco companies should pay for litter clean-ups.

What’s your opinion? Should manufacturers foot the bill for litter bugs, or should the problem be tackled in other ways? Let us know by tweeting us at @lspsltd

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