Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Stop the Drop

Each year, we drop 25 million tonnes of litter and then spend £650 million trying to clean it up. Which is madness. Thankfully, Stop the Drop is an initiative to stop just that. Organised by the people at Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and fronted up by the lovely Bill Bryson (who’s also the president of the CPRE), there are loads of simple ideas and tips on how we can all do our bit to make our land green and pleasant once more. If you were out on Monday night and missed Bill talking about it on Panorama with some Wombles, you can watch the show again . Otherwise, there’s lots more information on how to be less messy here.

Bill Bryson is a well known travel writer, I've often enjoyed his work, particularly 'A Kingdom By The Sea' where he circumnavigates Britain by public transport. On my walks around the coutry I am also horrified by litter dropped, particularly plastic that won't degrade.

Now I dont agree with the CPRE on everything, they could be accused on NIMBYism. is their guide to defeating wind turbine applications. I just don't see their objection, to me wind turbines add to the scenic value. When you consider the electric pylons scattered over the land, no one objects to them, and they are ugly, because people need them. I would rather have wind turbines than nuclear or coal power thank you very much.


DocRichard said...

Bill Bryson and CPRE have refused to press the govt to take action to clean up littering, using the Pollluter Pays principle. Basically, companies that create litter (plastics, newspapers, pachaging &c) should be taxed, and the tax will go to paying people to pick it up.

Details here:



Adrian Windisch said...

Very good point Richard. Theres also getting a deposit on bottles, we used to do this, other countries still do it.

I'm glad Bill Bryson is highlighting this, but is representing a slightly dodgy organisation and isn't giving a good case for reducing litter.

He is however a fine travel writer, who has entertained me for hours, so I don't want to be too rude.

DocRichard said...

This is a common problem with NGOs. They are busy with clearing up the mess, too busy to think how to stop it happening in the first place. A cynic (not me) might suppose that they realise that would put them out of a job. Amnesty International is the same - they refuse to engage with the Index of human rights
because of Objection 1 (It's never been done before")

Anonymous said...

You clearly do not understand or know about UK waste legislation.

Plastics, newspapers, packaging are covered under the Landfill Pre-Treatment Legislation and attract appropriate charges for the collection all of which are taxed.

docrichard the third - think before you spout.

Adrian Windisch said...

On 30 October 2007, new regulations came into force requiring waste producers to pre-treat their waste before sending it to landfill.

But this doesn't stop people from saying they want still less landfill. The UK is only just better than the European average for recycling and waste. /

The Green Party has a zero waste policy. See this from 2002.

DocRichard said...

Anonymous: The fact that plastics, newspapers, packaging and everything else that is dumped in landfill are covered under the Landfill Pre-Treatment Legislation and attract landfill charges is not relevant to the topic of littering. What is being suggested is a new levy on the producers of articles that end up as litter, with the levy hypothecated (earmarked) to pay local councils to pay to pick up litter.

Companies that produce plastics do it for the sake of profit. Some of their products, because of thoughtlessness of anonymous (uncatchable) and thoughtless people, end up as litter. Why should society as a whole pay for litter, either by enduring it as an eyesore, or paying people to clear it up? The Polluter Pays principle
means that the producer should, well, pay. I am sorry, if these concepts are difficult for some to grasp.