An anti-litter campaign spanning Essex, Kent and Suffolk has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row.
The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, made up of Essex local authorities and local business partners, aims to remind people that littering is a criminal offence which comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75 and a maximum fine upon conviction in court of £2,500.
In the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy, figures showed an average drop in litter of 43 per cent.
This year’s campaign ‘Don’t toss it - #BinIt’ appeared on bus shelters, petrol pumps and refuse vehicles across Essex, including Tendring.
The message has been reiterated in and around 86 McDonald’s and 15 KFC restaurants in Essex, Kent and Suffolk helping to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent.
More so than ever before, social media played a major part in helping the Cleaner Essex Group spread the campaign’s messages to 2.4 million social media accounts.
Michael Talbot, Tendring District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “There is no excuse for people who throw litter. Their unsociable actions spoil our beautiful county and costs around £17 million across Essex which could be better spent on other frontline services.
“We know that we have to keep using different methods of communication as well as enforcement to hammer home the message.”
Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald's franchisee, added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.
“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thrus, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it… #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”
Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex who is also passionate about preventing littering commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with Councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter.
“As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”
If anyone witnesses any fly tipping occurring please contact TDC’s Waste Management Team on 01255 686768.