Motorists are being warned to keep their rubbish to themselves or face a £150 fine as part of a crackdown on roadside littering.
From Monday (3 February 2020) Wychavon's Civil Enforcement Officers will be able to issue Penalty Notices when they see rubbish being thrown out of vehicles. The owner of the vehicle will be issued a fine in the post.Failure to pay will result in the debt being passed to a recovery agency and potentially further charges.
Wychavon is taking advantage of a change in the law which allows civil penalties to be issued for littering from vehicles. Wychavon already issues fines for littering using criminal legislation and will continue to do so in the future.
It is hoped strengthening the enforcement options available to tackle littering will encourage more motorists to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish responsibly. Signage, encouraging people to bin their litter properly, will also be installed at various locations where roadside littering is known to be a problem.
Cigarette ends, cans and plastic bottles are the items most commonly found on Wychavon roadsides. Not only do they spoil the appearance of the district but they pose a significant threat to wildlife. A recent report from Keep Britain Tidy warned drinks cans and bottles were acting as graveyards for some of the country's rarest and most important small mammals including shrews, bank voles and wood mice.
Cigarette ends take years to degrade and often get washed into water systems, and eventually oceans, posing a threat to marine life. They also leak toxic chemicals into the soil, which is harmful to plant growth.
Cllr Emma Stokes, Executive Board Member for Environment on Wychavon District Council, said: "We don't want to be issuing fines to anyone. What we want is for people to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. There can be no excuse for throwing anything out of your vehicle's window.
"I'd urge drivers to support our effort to create a cleaner district by ensuring they and their passengers keep it and then bin it."
To report littering visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/report-it