British crackdown on fast food packaging litter

“There is clear evidence that fast food littering is on the increase”, Michael claims. “The problem starts if any of us says ‘If other people don’t care why should I care?’, and that applies to both individuals and to the industry. We want to work with the industry and the community to turn this around.

“Our proposed Code of Practice gives an outline on how we might work together to make sustained improvements, which will have a direct impact on our local environments and quality of life. The code will be good news for the public, fast food operators and local authorities. Ultimately its aim is to make public spaces cleaner and safer to visit, live in and work in”, Michael says.

Whilst the list of organisations being consulted for their input on the issue numbered 750 (including those with such diverse interests as the Kennel Club, the Cyclists Touring Club and Surfers Against Sewage), it included only one plastic packaging firm. The Code of Practice has been welcomed by the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) director, Jane Bickertsaff, who says her organisation supports the government’s commitment to tackle litter.

“While the ultimate solution is to change public attitudes and behaviour so that littering becomes socially unacceptable, this code is a useful step in the right direction. In addition, industry – both as individual companies and through INCPEN – will continue to initiate and support anti-litter projects, educational programmes and research into litter and littering behaviour”.

Plastics and Rubber Weekly quoted a Packaging and Industrial Films Association spokesperson as saying that the organisation expected the government to extend the consultation to companies and organisations further down the supply chain. “There may be further moves to bring onboard the wider industry after this consultation. The issue is the same one as we’re fighting on carrier bags. First and foremost litter is a big social problem. We welcome moves that allow people to take a more responsible attitude when disposing of packaging”, the PIFA spokesperson said.

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