Litter levels have been consistently ‘unsatisfactory’ since the start of ENCAMS’ annual surveys four years ago, apart from a fleeting improvement in 2005/06. The latest survey found that cigarette butts and cartons remain the most frequent offenders, present at 78% of sites. Litter from alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and plastic bags were on the rise and the survey also noted a decline in cleaning standards and an increase in pavement staining.
The ENCAMS survey is the biggest of its kind, covering 19,000 sites across England, and is run on behalf of DEFRA.
London has been highlighted as ‘the most improved region’ managing progress in all four key environmental elements (litter, detritus, graffiti and fly-posting), although it is still a long way behind national benchmarks.
Phil Barton, ENCAMS Chief Executive, said: "England is facing a mounting litter problem. Although we have seen some improvements in recent years more needs to be done… we need the support of councils, businesses and communities to help make the necessary improvements and ensure we live in areas that we are proud of - no one wants to live in a place which is covered in litter, dog mess or graffiti."