New campaign to tackle roadside litter louts

Published Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A fresh campaign to tackle the blight of litter thrown from vehicles onto roadsides across Northamptonshire is urging offenders ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ or face being fined.

The powerful play on words has been chosen as this spring’s anti-litter message by the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, which is made up of local authorities countywide.

Launched today (March 3), the new campaign warns motorists they could be fined £75 or more if they are seen tossing litter out of their vehicle and has seen posters go up along the county’s main roads at petrol stations, fast food outlets as well as on local buses, bin lorries and council vehicles and messages on social media sites.

Every year councils in the county spend a total of £4.5million cleaning streets, emptying litter bins, clearing fly tipping and picking up rubbish. Car litter is one of the biggest problems and fast food outlets on stretches on the county’s main trunk roads will be targeted as part of the campaign (see list below).

Taken from a past Keep Britain Tidy initiative, the ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ campaign will be running in Corby, Daventry District, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, South Northamptonshire and Wellingborough. It has already proved a successful anti-litter message in other parts of the UK, including Essex and Suffolk.

Chairman of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, Councillor Chris Millar, said: “Whether it’s an apple core, cigarette butt or a burger bag, throwing litter from cars is not only anti-social but also illegal and those seen doing so could be fined.

"There are much better ways to spend taxpayers' money than cleaning up after these individuals, whose thoughtless actions are harming our local environment and wildlife.

"People think they’re much more anonymous throwing litter out of vehicles than dropping it elsewhere, but the comfort of their car is no hiding place. Our message to these offenders is clear – you are not invisible and anyone who sees you dropping litter can report you.

"Our campaign headline 'Don’t be a Tosser' is a play on words that’s designed to attract attention and get people thinking and talking about the problem of litter from vehicles. It’s used alongside an image of someone tossing their litter from a car, emphasising the meaning of the word in the context of our campaign." 

Littering comes with anything from a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice to prosecution in court and a fine of up to £2,500 plus any additional costs awarded.

For more details about the campaign, visit the Recycle For Northamptonshire website.

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