While a range of national anti-litter initiatives is being pursued by my Department through the framework of the Government's litter action plan, including implementation of a national litter monitoring system and support for a range of education-awareness initiatives under the Litter Pollution Act 1997 primary responsibility for management and enforcement responses to litter pollution lies with local authorities. Accordingly, it is a matter for each local authority to decide on the most appropriate public awareness, enforcement and clean-up actions regarding litter, including the problem posed by cigarettes.
The results of the national litter pollution monitoring system survey 2003 were published in August of this year. This report is based on an analysis of data received from 34 local authorities compared to 30 local authorities in the 2002 survey. Most of the major local authorities responded to the survey. While the results do not cover all local authorities, they provide a reliable overview of the litter problem and demonstrate clear patterns from which conclusions may reasonably be drawn.
I expect that the system survey results report for 2004 will include information submitted from almost all local authorities and will enable an accurate assessment to be made of the impact on litter of the smoking ban.