A United Kingdom group representing the resource and waste management industry has called on plastics firms to fund litter clean-up programs through an "extended producer responsibility" process.
The Environmental Services Association's (ESA), policy paper "The Role of Extended Producer Responsibility in Tackling Litter in the U.K.," considered the merits of the manufacturers of cigarettes, chewing gum and fast food contributing to the multi-million pound clean-up costs associated with the littering of their products.
It has called for a levy on manufacturers of fast food, drinks and candy packaging to cover the “significant costs” to local authorities of clearing up these items.
The report referenced Keep Britain Tidy's "How Clean is England" report which showed that 80 percent of sites surveyed in 2014-15 had some form of food and drink-related litter.
Littered items included snack packs, fast food-related litter, candy packaging, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks-related litter.
The report said: “There is very little tonnage or cost data relating to clearing up food and drinks packaging. However, a very crude analysis suggests that if we assume half the cost of local authorities' annual litter and street cleansing bill relates directly to litter and that 27 percent of that relates to the clear up of food and drinks related litter then we can put forward a best estimate of over 100 million pounds."
ESA executive director, Jacob Hayler said: “ESA's policy paper recommends the introduction of producer responsibility levies on the manufacturers of some of the most frequently littered items. “This money would be used by local authorities to cover litter clean up costs or to help fund anti-litter campaigns.
“We are also calling on the government to consider the role that extended producer responsibility could play in its forthcoming litter strategy.”