The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published its “litter dashboard”, which aims to use established figures on littering in England to form a baseline to determine future policy development.
The dashboard explains the government’s approach to understanding the extent of litter and littering in England.
Changes in these numbers over time will help to inform policy development, and assess progress towards the Department’s goal of achieving a substantial reduction in litter and littering.
The Litter Strategy for England shows that litter is an important national issue. “We need to understand how litter affects England,” Defra says. “We want to do so in ways that are impartial, affordable and statistically reliable.”
To this end, it intends to use figures from self-reported incidents of littering through apps, and statistics collated from Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Clean Up and the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean.
Notable figures in Defra’s newly published dashboard include that in April 2016 to March 2017 30% of people in England said there was a “very or fairly big problem” with litter and rubbish in their area.
This has been a fairly consistent picture with the figure changing little in recent years, Defra says.
In 2016 to 2017, it cost local authorities £682m or £29 per household to keep streets clean, according to the figures.
In addition, Highways England spends at least £6m a year on collecting litter from the Strategic Road Network.