Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th July 2010.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take to reduce the level of litter.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This Government have made reducing litter a priority. There is no excuse for littering and we are working with interested partners in business, councils and civil society to collaborate in tackling this problem.

Addressing the litter problem begins at a local level and local authorities have a duty to keep their land clear of litter and refuse and have been given powers of enforcement, first through the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and more recently the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to deal with offenders though either the courts or in issuing on the spot fines.

Littering is a problem best managed locally. Local authorities and magistrates have the necessary legislation to enforce anti-litter policies. Councils can encourage local initiatives, such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England's 'Stop the Drop' campaign.

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