Huge majority of people unwilling to confront litter louts

16th April 2018

Web litter shutterstock 713761948

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  • Waste ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Society


charley woodman

A whopping 94% of Britons would not stop someone they saw dropping litter in the street, with many fearing that confrontation could result in a physical attack.

That is according to a poll of 3000 people by, which reveals that 3% would intervene depending on the circumstances, and a further 3% are not sure what they would do.

Failing to see it as any of their business and a fear of attack were the top two reasons given for avoiding confrontation, with 12% saying they had received rude comments when doing so in the past.

“People's attitude to litter is the stereotype of the British character in a nutshell,” spokesman, Mark Hall, said.

“We put up with a lot of inconvenience and rude behaviour, but we are generally too polite or nervous to speak out.”

The third most popular reason for not calling out a litter lout was people not wanting to be seen as a ‘do-gooder’ or someone that moans all the time, which Hall described as a “depressing sign of the times”.

Despite most people being hostile to the idea waste, it was also found that 31% of Brits would drop litter in the street if there wasn’t a bin nearby or any witnesses in view.

The remaining 69% said they would find a bin or take the rubbish home, with highlighting how street litter costs councils tens of millions of pounds each year.

This comes after the Environmental Services Association (ESA) said cash-strapped councils should use competition for waste services to deliver cost savings and drive innovation.

It warned that many local authorities were instead moving away from competitive tender procedures by bringing waste management services in-house.

“Many are concerned about locking themselves into inflexible arrangements for up to 10 years for their waste services,” ESA executive director, Jacob Hayler, said.

“But we believe that competitive tenders – open to both private and publicly owned service providers – can be used to protect councils from changes in future legislation in the most affordable way.”

Image credit: iStock


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