Letters: Rubbish on the streets of Harrogate

6 April 2012

Dear Editor,

I love my country but it seems that few of my countrymen feel the same. A prominent foreign journalist recently designated Britain as a tip and I have to say I agree with him! The whole population have scant regard as to how they dispose of litter, trash. The easiest way of course is to simply throw it out of the car window. There are thousands and thousands of tonnes of litter lining our streets and country lanes and we do not seem to have any drive or incentive to try to prevent it or clean it up.

Years ago there were numerous campaigns on television about “keep Britain Tidy”. This was before the advent of plastic, more specifically, bottled water, bottled drinks, take-a-ways, McDonalds, etc. etc. The whole situation is a thousand times worse than it was then yet we do not seem to be bothered. What on earth is going on!

My wife and I have tried to be pro active. On a short trip up one of our local lanes we managed to pick up 16 large bags of rubbish in only a matter of a few hours, this cannot be right. I have thought of various ways to bring an end to this disgusting behaviour and I would be interested to hear your reader’s thoughts.

  1. Increase the fine for littering to £5,000, jail the culprits if necessary
  2. All adults to be DNA and finger print tested. Any litter thrown out could therefore be traced back to the individual and suitable punishment imposed.
  3. Any purchase at take-a-ways, drinking bottles etc, etc to be printed with the purchaser’s credit card details. I am sure this would make people think twice about throwing items away.
  4. All take-a-ways to frank the packaging with the purchasers name and address.
  5. Make all packaging returnable regardless of the type with a refund. You could charge a returnable fee of £1 say on a plastic bottle and £2 on plastic and paper food cartons.
  6. At birth each individual to have a section of the British roads to which they are responsible for keeping clean. With 30 million adults (or however many it is) I am sure each of us would not have much to look after and all individuals would think twice about littering somebody else’s patch.
  7. Take prisoners from jail, put them to good use rather than actually pay them for sitting around doing nothing.
  8. Provide government legislation on the disposal of packaging.
  9. Close all take-a-ways and stop the sale of bottled water and plastic drink containers.

However unpopular I am sure any or all or a combination of the above would do the trick, but if there are any more suggestions out there, tongue in cheek or otherwise it may be worth getting on to your local MP and lets start cleaning Britain up! ! !

Clive Newsome



  1. Agree with the sentiment but what if you diligently placed your litter in the bin only for someone else to tip it out? The only way is to really hammer anyone caught littering. £5,000 and community service clearing litter would be a start.

  2. Clive,

    I agree… However, I can save the local government a fortune here.

    Education them and teach them to respect the country we live in.

    One point you made (3) is a good one and in fact I would suggest we hold accountable the people that supply the bags, boxes etc etc…

    Accountability 101.

    KIDS DON’T CARE and the adult who do this also DON’T CARE.

    Lack of education and respect.

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