Litter from drive-thru food packaging is becoming a more common occurrence in streets and country lanes across the UK, and I think the best way to stop this is to discourage drivers from dropping it in the first place. Printing the driver’s vehicle registration on food packaging that they get from drive-thrus would encourage people to dispose of their waste responsibly, helping us create greener streets and cutting down on the antisocial littering that harms the environment.
My name is Bea. I'm a sixth-form student and I am running this campaign because during the first lockdown in 2020, the lanes where I live became cleaner. Normally, you would expect to find fast-food packaging, empty drinks cans and other litter around. However, when the drive-thrus and shops closed this stopped, leaving less rubbish to decompose and pollute our countryside. It is great that the UK is coming out of a long period of lockdowns, but as people are asked to socialise outside, the amount of rubbish left lying around has increased dramatically.
My own experience of seeing more waste food packaging was confirmed in a report for the CPRE, the countryside charity, late last year. The report found that local councils across the UK saw a rise in fast-food related litter at the same time that drive-thrus re-opened and that the main source of litter in the countryside was from fast-food outlets. When the whole country is pulling together to cut carbon emissions and reduce waste, I don’t think that it is right that a minority still choose to pollute in such an antisocial way.
Let’s make people think twice about dropping their rubbish out of cars when they are done with it. With all the focus on creating a greener planet and giving the next generations a chance, asking fast-food vendors to act responsibly and label their packaging is a small step, but one firmly in the right direction.