Few would disagree that litter is a national scourge. Wherever we go, be it footpath, pavement, road or motorway, we cannot escape it - cans, glass and plastic bottles, cigarette packets, chocolate wrappers and worse. And then there is fly-tipping - beds, mattresses, sofas, rubble of all sorts. England is often very far from being a green and pleasant land.
What to do about it?
Nationally CPRE has with varying degrees of success campaigned for the banning of single use plastic bags, the introduction of a deposit return scheme and a reduction in pointless packaging.
At county level we pressurise Highways England and local authorities to fulfil their legal obligations. The mess along the verge of the A14 and in lay-bys is evidence of what an uphill struggle this is. We organise litter-picking competitions involving community groups and this year a painting competition for primary schoolchildren. We’ll get there but it will take time! Every little helps but .....
Is it time for fines for littering to be increased and the law to be enforced more strictly? Perhaps, but ultimately littering stems from a lack of care for public spaces and an appalling disregard for others that use them. Education, education, education would seem to be the solution.