Should fast-food chains pay for extra litter pick up
Should fast-food chains pay
for extra litter pick up?
When it comes to food and drink on-the-go, boy are we spoilt for choice in the UK, and we also seem to do our best to spoil our towns and countryside as we go.
Some of the biggest brands we all know and love are among the worst culprits for creating a huge amount of litter, which is costing local councils a small fortune to constantly clear up.
BusinessWaste.co.uk – the UK’s waste collection company – believe it’s time that these big chains paid extra for the rubbish their businesses create.
The scores on the floors
Fast-food litter is a broad term which covers all types of food that are consumed outside and disposed of incorrectly, which can be anything including plastic bottles, sweet wrappers, and food containers.
So while we love our ‘on-the-go’ food and drink brands because of how convenient they are, the packaging from takeaways or meal-deals is creating chaos for our waste collectors across the UK.
Just how much fast-food litter are we dealing with?
BusinessWaste.co.uk have taken a deep (bin)dive into just how loyal we Brits are to our consumable brands, and just what this means in terms of rubbish littering our country.
* On average, McDonald’s serves over 3.8 million customers a day in the UK. This means millions of wrappers, boxes, and soft drink cups are being disposed of daily.
* Coca-Cola produces 2.5 billion soft drink cans a year in the UK – including fan favourites Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, and of course, Coca-Cola.
* Walkers produces over 11 million packets of crisps a day, which means over 4 billion packets being produced and consumed a year.
* More than 2 billion Nestle products are sold in the UK every year, with 97% of UK households buying their products, including popular items such as Kit-Kats, Nescafe coffee, and Buxton water.
Hall – Our love of these trusted brands is an environmental nightmare, as many of the top selling products in the UK are made out of non-sustainable packaging such as plastic and foil.
And lets not forgot about the billion rubber bands the royal mail litters each year.
What’s the cost
and what can we do?
The bill for litter cleaning up and down the UK currently costs local authorities around £586 million a year, which of course is money raised straight from the tax payer.
Business Waste don’t think this is fair on local councils and tax payers to have to pay when they aren’t the ones profiting from the sale of these goods, especially as consumers are often stuck for choice when it comes to making a sustainable choice when buying fast-food.
Hall: “Consumers have no choice as to what packaging their favourite products come in, so if the big brands don’t want to be eco-friendly then they should have to reach into their pockets to pay for the inevitable amount of waste their items produce.
“This could be the incentive they need to become more environmentally friendly.”
So what can we do to clamp down on the fast-food litter that is taking over our streets?
Some brands such as McDonald’s have partnered with local councils by organising daily litter picks with their staff around stores and have done for years. Some stores such as in Dagenham have agreed to up the number of litter picks to four times a day covering a half mile radius around the shop.
And the government are cracking down on fast-food litter too, by introducing new guidance for new applications made by franchises including installing more bins around takeaways to reduce the amount of rubbish. 
But Business Waste believe that ultimately, introducing charges for these brands is the best way to stop the amount of rubbish they create, and save local councils from having to foot the bill to clear it up.
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