Your local council is legally obliged to keep its land clear of litter. This guide will help you to understand the responsibilities placed on your local council by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Litter - Local council responsibilities
CPRE is a member of the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG), a group of organisations working with a common aim: to find solutions to the problem of fly-tipping. Read a guide produced by the NFTPG for landowners and land managers.
If you have complained about a litter problem on public land and nothing has been done about it then you could take action by seeking a Litter Abatement Order. Go to our Litter Abatement Order page.
"Britain has some of the toughest anti-litter laws in Europe, but it is left to individual councils to enforce them." Bill Bryson speaking on Panorama in 2008.
Bill was certainly right in his observation that Great Britain has some very tough anti-litter and fly-tipping laws. The trouble is that despite these tough laws our litter problem continues to grow, and it shows little sign of relenting. That is why at LitterAction we encourage individuals and volunteer groups to take action against litter in any way they can. We think that our volunteers are making a huge difference to the environments where they operate. What they need to support their efforts is co-operation with their local councils as well as strict law enforcement from them to reinforce the community desire for a clean and tidy environment.
Most people are very aware that littering is a crime and if caught offenders can be fined under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Section 89 of the same Act places a legal duty on certain organisations responsible for public land to keep land under their remit clear of litter. Organisations which have this duty to keep their land clear include: local councils, schools and universities, Network Rail and Train Operating Companies and the Highways Agency. For more information on what to do if they aren't keeping their land clean take a look at our page on Litter Abatement Orders. The link is on the left hand side of this page.
If you want to know more about our litter laws in detail then we suggest you consult Keep Britain Tidy. There are lots of guides and resources on the KBT website which thoroughly explain both the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.