To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of an (a) voluntary and (b) compulsory scheme to require drive through fast food outlets to print the car registration details of each customer's vehicle on the packaging containing their purchased items.
Defra does not intend to carry out a formal assessment of the potential merits of requiring drive through fast food outlets to implement a vehicle registration number printing system for packaging. We have concerns that the additional burden this would place on businesses and those responsible for enforcement would outweigh the benefits. We support voluntary initiatives aimed at reducing litter.
In recent years we have bolstered local authority enforcement powers, such as by allowing them to issue the keeper of a vehicle, from which litter is thrown, with a civil penalty. Councils also have powers to issue Community Protection Notices which can be used to require the owner of premises, such as fast-food outlets, to take certain actions to tackle litter created by their activities.
Furthermore, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recently updated planning guidance to clarify the powers available to councils to ensure new hot food takeaways do not increase the impact of litter on local communities. The guidance gives councils advice on what rules they can enforce when new takeaways open, such as ensuring they install more bins and anti-litter signs.