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Littering is costly, unsightly and is bad for the environment. Read on to find out more about it.

What constitutes littering?

Litter is something that is discarded improperly by members of the public and usually refers to smaller items, such as sweet wrappers and drinks containers. Anything as big as or larger than a single sack of rubbish would be likely to be considered fly-tipping. It must occur in a place where the public has access and items must be left and walked away from for it to be considered littering.

What impact does litter have?

It costs the taxpayer money that could be better spent on other essential services because local councils are responsible for keeping their land clear. They must follow the code of practice on litter and refuse, which explains how different types of land should be kept clear.

It is also bad for the environment as it can harm wildlife and given how long most litter takes to break down, it can cause damage to land and habitats too. It can also make an area look unpleasant and can attract vermin and other unwanted pests.

Littering is an offence

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is an offence to drop litter. Councils can issue fixed penalty notices of up to £150 for littering, which can rise to £2,500 if the fine isn’t paid.

What can you do about litter?

Please do not litter. Find a nearby bin or if one isn’t available, keep your rubbish until you find one or can use a bin at home.

If you want to report a build-up of litter on public land, you will need to contact your local council to report it using the links below:


Epsom and Ewell


Mole Valley

Reigate and Banstead



Surrey Heath