We need a long term shift in behaviour, but this does not necessarily need long term investment. At the moment, unemployment is on the rise. In London Litter and Waste Enforcement Officers can earn in excess of £27k, and have the authority to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering. Enforcement Officers can generate revenue by issuing FPNs, or better still their presence may be a deterrent to littering and flytipping, thus vastly reducing the cost of cleaning up and restoring damaged spaces.
These Enforcement Officers could also play a role in educating our children not to litter, and to care for their environment and community, The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign of my childhood in the 80s had a big impact on me, and we have an army of citizens who’ve put their hand up to help during Covid who could be minded to volunteer to go into schools (when that’s possible) to educate our children, who can in turn educate their parents and family members to take better care.
At the moment the system seems geared to be reactive (responding to reports of flytipping) rather than proactive (i.e. preventing the crime through positive ‘nudges’ including more and better warning signage, and FPN deterrents).
Faced with many more months of disruption due to Covid, and many more unemployed, what a marvellous opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Create jobs which are carried out in the safe outdoors, and which have the capacity improve our environment in the short and long term.