Keep Leeds Tidy: Should fast food firms be forced to take more responsibility for the litter they generate?

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Calls have been made for an effective ‘littering clause’ to be enshrined in Leeds’s local planning policy, to force fast food firms to take greater responsibility for the waste they generate.

Takeaway hotspots like Hyde Park have been suffering for years with litter linked to the proliferation of junk food outlets in the area.

Headingley ward Labour councillor Neil Walshaw has now called for a “beefing up” of the council’s policy on granting take-away application approvals, with a focus on “making corporate social responsibility more up-front and in-your-face”.

“One of the biggest issues, particularly in my patch, is the litter impact,” Coun Walshaw said. He was speaking at a Leeds City Council plans panel meeting, where the impact of takeaways on the city’s overall health was being debated.

As previously reported, the council is currently drawing up plans to curb the number of takeaways in junk food hotspot areas.

The calls for tougher action on food firms come as the YEP launches its Keep Leeds Tidy campaign to encourage people across the city to reclaim their neighbourhoods from litter louts and flytippers, and get involved in positive action to clean up their communities.

Many firms already have litter policies. For example, McDonald’s, often named as a chief culprit in the fast food litter battle, operates daily litter patrols and local clean-up events with charities. However a recent survey by Keep Britain Tidy found that fast-food and snack packaging were the types of littering that were most on the increase.

In a previous survey, McDonald’s, Greggs, KFC and Subway were named as the most littered brands in England as Keep Britain Tidy called on both fast-food companies and the Government to do more.

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