Jeremy and Rachel at the FPA event
Jeremy spoke at the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) Environment Seminar, on behalf of Clean Up Britain and called on major brands to change the way the public interacts with waste packaging.
“Litter is the sort of advertising that nobody wants,” Jeremy said. “If the sides of the roads are littered with rubbish baring your logo, then you have got a problem.
“What we need to do most of all is to change the way people behave. Businesses have to make dumping litter socially unacceptable in the same way that drink driving now is. It is increasingly clear that the only way for us to win the war on litter is for all of us to come together in a far more integrated way.
“We need a coordinated, collaborative initiative involving environment boards and companies, trade unions and the private sector. I don’t think the Government will help, they’ve already failed us.”
Jeremy noted that the amount of litter in the UK had increased by around 500% over the past 50 years, and last year alone, local authorities across the UK spent more than £1bn on removing litter from our streets.
He called on the private sector to fund behavioural change campaigns that will not only reduce public littering, but “will get Government to jump on the bandwagon of a successful collaborative initiative”.
Drink driving has not become socially unacceptable because of changing attitudes towards it, many people would still do it were it not for the fear of the penalties and consequences, the most feared of which is not the possibility of killing someone or a hefty fine, but a lengthy driving ban. Even then some people continue to drive after having been banned. The only thing that would deter litter louts is a fine of £1,000. There have been many petitions calling for this but, as always, our timid politicians fail to act in the public interest.
Surely educating the young while at school is part of the solution albeit a long term one. Somehow the present litter culture needs to be changed.