Brighton and Hove is one of the UK's top holiday destinations and, as home to many environmental groups as well as a Green Party MP, has a reputation for being an ecologically clean and progressive area. Despite this, Brighton and Hove still has serious issues with litter, mostly on the beach but also in the commercial areas surrounding the seafront.
Fixed rate fines between £75 and £300 are in place for littering and other environmental offences, but, as a crime which is easy enough to get away with, the issue still exists.
In November last year the Hubbub Foundation began the #StreetsAhead campaign, which had a primary focus of combating litter in the Brighton and Hove area. Featuring an art installation of a giant fish made of litter, street art and cigarette butt 'voting' ashtrays, the campaign looked to raise awareness about the dangers of littering, particularly on life in the sea.
But according to various clean-up campaigns, including the Great British Beach Clean, there is a whopping 744 items of litter per 100 meters of beach. Litter is a huge problem because, even if we're not the ones doing it, it's the taxpayers who have to cover for the clean-up, and an annual figure of £682 million is required to ensure Britain's streets are clean.
What could be done to improve the situation further? More campaigns like #StreetsAhead are needed, as awareness of the issue is one of the key factors which contributes to ensuring that enough is being done, but no doubt its our responsibility as a community to tell people when they litter that it's the wrong thing to do.