Opinion: Litter is blighting Britain

Litter campaign

Litter campaign

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England’s green and pleasant land is no more when set in the context of the amount of litter and rubbish blighting Britain because of a selfish minority’s cavalier attitude.

Not only has such disrespect been allowed to become endemic, largely because existing laws on litter have no deterrent effect, but the total cost of cleaning up communities and roads is now estimated to cost £1bn a year – money which Britain simply cannot afford to throw away at a time of spending restraint.

However this staggering sum would be even more prohibitive if it was not for those public-spirited individuals and community groups who have made it their civic duty to clear up the mess left by others; they represent the best of society and should be applauded. Their selflessness is one reason why this newspaper is backing a new campaign – Clean Up Yorkshire – with the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

If more people can be persuaded to lead by example and spare some time to pick up discarded litter, such collective action – the aggregation of marginal gains – can make a difference and perhaps force the irresponsible to think twice about their own conduct.