Page last updated at 02:12 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 03:12 UK

Penalty point for littering call

Almost a quarter of people admit to throwing litter from their car

Drivers who drop litter from their cars should be penalised with a point on their licence, say campaigners.

Keep Britain Tidy says its research has shown it is a better deterrent than fines, which are already handed out.

It argues that as it is difficult to identify who has actually thrown the litter, all the blame should fall on the car owner.

The group says culprits should still face fines and even those who discard apple cores ought to be punished.

Phil Barton, the organisation's chief executive, said it should be easier to prosecute offenders who use the streets and roads as a "giant dumping ground".

"The owner should be responsible for the actions of those inside the car," he said.

"We therefore want the law to go further and see a penalty point put on the licence of those that litter from vehicles."

Tracking litter

More than 700,000 bags of rubbish are collected from England's roads each year, including fast food litter, cigarette ends, drinks cartons and apple cores.

Although apples are biodegradable, anti-litter campaigners say they can encourage rats.

Keep Britain Tidy says almost a quarter of people (23%) admit to dropping litter from their vehicles.

It has also launched a month-long awareness campaign to encourage people to take their rubbish home.

Almost 100 councils in England will be working with the organisation to gather evidence on where and when littering from cars takes place.

Members of the public are being asked to report incidents of people throwing litter from vehicles to the Keep Britain Tidy website to help analyse where and when it is happening.

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