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Lakes and Rivers: Litter

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 128261, tabled on 23 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle littering in (a) lakes and (b) rivers.

Answered on

2 March 2022

The Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering within a generation by focusing on education and awareness, improving enforcement and better cleaning and access to bins.

The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse, published by Defra, sets out the standards of cleaning that litter authorities are expected to be able to achieve on waterside land.

The riparian owner is responsible for clearing watercourses and waterside land but other authorities may also have duties and powers. For example, in England, the Environment Agency will remove items or accumulations of litter that could restrict flow and increase flood risk on statutory main rivers. Local authorities and internal drainage boards have comparable powers on other ‘ordinary watercourses’.

With support from Defra, and in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, the Scouting Association have developed a pack containing information to help Scouts and Explorers understand the impact of plastic on wildlife, the waterways and oceans, and take practical action about issues affecting their local area.