What is littering law UK?

Kingdom Services Group understands that littering is at the forefront of public concern nowadays in the UK and that it can negatively affect people’s health as well as feeling of safety and well-being. Litter is classed as anything dropped improperly in a public place, including private land. Common litter items comprise crisp packets, sweet wrappers, cigarette butts and household rubbish. Littering degrades an environment and affects a community’s quality of life. The dropping of litter in any place can cause various problems for local residents and local authorities. Therefore, there is a littering law in the UK to combat such a large environmental problem.

To drop or throw down litter in a place open to the air is a criminal offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) – Section 87. This offence also includes litter in water such as lakes, streams and rivers. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (CNEA) 2005 amends the offence to include smoking-related litter. It includes discarded ends of cigarettes, cigars and discarded chewing-gum. As per a study, approximately 122 tonnes of smoking related litter is dropped daily across the UK.

If caught by police or local authorities, such as Kingdom’s Local Authority Support services, committing a litter offence, the offender will be issued a fixed penalty notice (FPN) and may be required to pay a maximum fine of £2,500. It may also lead to the prosecution of the offender, as per the littering law in the UK and will be dealt with by the magistrate’s court. As it is very difficult to prosecute a large number of litter offenders, local authorities are allowed to issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN) to offenders. If the FPN is paid within 14 days, the offender can avoid a criminal prosecution. The FPN is required to clearly state the offence committed. It can be issued on-the-sport and if the person refuses to pay, they will be summoned to magistrates’ court. The FPN for littering can be issued by authorized officers, such as Kingdom’s Local Authority Support officers, litter wardens or police community support officers.

As per the littering law in the UK, it is local authority’s legal duty to clear litter and refuse from the public land. The land includes roads, parks, playgrounds, beaches, and pedestrian areas. People can also take action against a duty body via the magistrates’ court for not keeping a particular land clear of litter. Similarly, if litter is dropped on a private land, the owner is responsible for the same. In such cases, the local authority has the power to issue a Community Protection Notice to the land owner.

Local authorities can also serve litter abatement notices on local bodies for not keeping the areas litter free. The owner of the land may have to face a fine, plus extra daily fine if the offence continues. The littering law in UK also allows members of the public to apply to the magistrates’ court for litter abatement notices on local authorities that fail to keep the area litter free and clean.

Kingdom’s Local Authority Support Services offer councils the best solutions for littering, fly-tipping and alleyway dumping. If you would like to find out more about the various services Kingdom offers, be sure to take a look at our;

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