A group photo at the launch of the Love Essex anti-littering campaign. The background sign says "It's for driving on, not littering on"

Chelmsford City Council has joined forces with other local authorities across Essex for the 2022 Love Essex anti-littering campaign. This year there’s a particular focus on stopping motorists from throwing litter from their vehicles.  

Devastating impact of litter 

Roadside litter is a problem faced by all local authorities in Essex. It can have a devastating effect on the environment and poses a risk to public health. Cigarette butts, for example, contain dangerous chemicals such as arsenic and formaldehyde that can be absorbed into soil and water courses.  

Roadside verges in Chelmsford host an abundance of wildlife. According to reports, the RSPCA receives an average of ten calls every day concerning animals being injured or caught in litter. 

“It’s for driving on, not littering on” 

A truck carrying large LED screens on its side, displaying text that reads "Do the right thing, take your litter home"
The campaign will ask people not to drop litter on Essex roads

Chelmsford City Council will be working with Essex County Council and ten local authorities in Essex to remind people what roads should be used for, with the slogan “It’s for driving on, not littering on”. If convicted in court, motorists caught littering will face a Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £150 and up to £2,500, plus costs. 

Local business partners will also be supporting the campaign. KFC and McDonald’s drive-throughs in Essex will be displaying banners carrying the message “It’s a takeaway, not a throwaway”. Their packaging will also carry the same message.

It’s vital that local authorities work together to tackle roadside littering. From conversations today with colleagues in neighbouring district councils, and fast-food outlets, it’s clear that we all face the same challenges. 

Every year, over £17.5 million is spent to keep the streets of Essex clean and tidy. Even though local authorities’ budgets are being cut each year, the demand for services such as street cleaning continues to rise.  

It’s heart-breaking to see some parts of our city and roadside verges strewn with litter. 

We have a shared responsibility – a duty of care, to each other and our planet. Please, bin it or take it home with you – it’s that simple. As local authorities, we can and will take action against people who choose to litter. But we also encourage people to take pride in our landscape and public places; to take care of the spaces we share. That’s the key to real, long-term change.

Cllr. Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford

Anti-litter poster design competition

A poster with colour pencils and crayons and a text that reads Anti Litter Poster Design Competition

To support the campaign, Chelmsford City Council is launching an anti-littering poster design competition for children under the age of 16. Prizes include a family ticket to Dinosaurs in the Park at Hylands Estate, family swim vouchers for Riverside Leisure Centre and an Amazon voucher.

The competition aims to inspire children to take a stand against littering in a creative way.  The poster must contain the key message of encouraging people to bin their litter or take it home, whether they’re out on foot or in a vehicle. 

The poster can be made using any materials, such as pen, pencil, watercolours or digital drawings, provided it’s in an A4 format. All entries must be scanned or photographed and sent to anti.litter@chelmsford.gov.uk by 25 August.  

More information on the competition including the submission rules can be found on the Love Your Chelmsford website.

How you can help with litter

You can report litter, fly tipping and street problems through the Chelmsford City Council website.

There are many ways you can keep Chelmsford clean. The Love Your Chelmsford team runs a litter picking volunteer programme for residents, schools, businesses and community groups. You can borrow a litter picking kit for free for a maximum of 14 days at a time. Kits include an adult or child sized litter picker, gloves, hi-vis waistcoat and branded heavy-duty bin bags.

For more information on how to volunteer or book a litter picking kit, visit the Love Your Chelmsford website. 

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