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Kirstie Allsopp supports the Don't be a Tosser campaign
By Linda Walker
BBC Suffolk

Kirstie Allsopp and Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Phil Barton
Kirstie Allsopp on Keep Britain Tidy duty

Keep Britain Tidy's celebrity ambassador Kirstie Allsopp has pledged her support for BBC Suffolk's anti-litter campaign.

Don't be a Tosser works with the police, local authorities and the public to tidy up the county.

Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie is behind the campaign and believes it has a strong message.

"For me it's a brilliant slogan because it really sums up how terrible it is to chuck stuff out of cars," said Kirstie.

Kirstie is the latest celebrity to back Don't be a Tosser, following in the footsteps of author Bill Bryson and farmer turned documentary maker Jimmy Doherty.

She believes it's important to look after your local area and recognises the huge amount of time and money that is put in to keeping the UK tidy.

"We spend £780m per annum as a country clearing litter from our streets and that's not the rubbish being picked up, that's purely litter, that's what the local authorities have to spend on removing what we drop," said Kirstie.

Whilst on Mark Murphy's Breakfast Show, Kirstie was asked if she thought fines would be an appropriate punishment for littering.

"I'm really militant," she said. "I'd be in favour of all sorts of things for litter because I think we have to make it clear that we all have a responsibility to our country, to the environment, to safety and health because litter involves all sorts of bigger issues."

In a recent interview with the BBC's Matthew Stadlen for the series, Five Minutes With , Kirstie made her feelings about litter louts very clear and even used the word tosser, which raised some eye brows.

"He (Matthew Stadlen) wasn't familiar with the slogan and he was quite surprised so he beeped it," said Kirstie.

Kirstie, or @KirstieMAllsopp as she is known on Twitter to her 37,000 followers, is an avid tweeter and frequently uses the social networking site to spread the word about her disdain for the tossers.

"Occasionally I'll see someone throwing something out of a car and I'll take a picture on my telephone and I'll upload it on to Twitter and then Keep Britain Tidy can contact the DVLA," said Kirstie.

"People say to me 'isn't that a bit extreme, it's just a bit of litter' but then when you explain to them about the £780m which could be spent on hospitals, or schools or provision of care for the elderly, suddenly they think 'oh that's absolutely true'.

"If each of us chucked a piece of litter out of our car every day we would be knee deep within weeks."

Litter and the housing market

Kirstie is best known as a property consultant and TV presenter and she believes that keeping your neighbourhood litter free can be a real benefit when putting your house on the market.

"If you're selling your house, club together with your neighbours to make sure your street is clean because that is one of the things that people notice.

"People make decisions about property literally in the first few seconds and a litter free street reassures people about your neighbourhood and it literally puts pounds in your pocket."

Here in Suffolk, Don't be a Tosser supporters continue to back the campaign with regular litter picks and community events.

Kirstie firmly believes that if everyone gets involved, including young people, we really can make a difference.

"Kids get so much sense of achievement by learning about litter and picking up litter and being responsible about their environment and that's the way we can go forward, via our children."
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Read about Jimmy Doherty's commitment to the campaign: Don't be a Tosser at Jimmy's Farm .




SEE ALSO
Five Minutes With: Kirstie Allsopp
22 May 10 |  Entertainment and Arts
Don't be a Tosser at Jimmy's Farm
11 Mar 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Anti-litter campaign back in 2010
02 Mar 10 |  Nature & Outdoors


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