Campaigners have urged councils in England and Wales to increase fines for litterers as the level of littering continues to rise.
Despite a significant increase in the level of littering, data from freedom of information (FOI) has shown that a number of councils issue less than one fine a week, while others are not issuing fines to litterers at all.
Campaigners at Clean Up Britain said an on-the-spot fine was “derisory” and litterers should pay a maximum of £1,000 on-the-spot. They described the level of littering as “shameful”.
The co-founder of the Clean Up Britain, John Read, said: “It’s depressing, shameful and embarrassing what a dump this country has become.
“Litter is a complex issue and there is no single silver bullet. However, it is very important to have an effective and punitive deterrent and that is totally lacking in Britain”, he added.
Merle van den Akker, the president of the behavioural insights team at Warwick Business School, spoke in support of the idea of increasing on-the-spot fine to £1,000, saying “No one wants to be fined £1,000 for throwing away a £1 can of drink.
Littering doesn`t only affect the litterer but posed a risk to other people`s health. A Defra spokesperson said that litterers who refuse to pay on-the-spot fines will be prosecuted and fined up to £2,500.
In a statement, a spokesman for Cornwall Council said: “#LitterlessCornwall is designed to change people’s behaviours to prevent littering. I believe this has had a positive impact.”