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£850m spent clearing England's dropped litter

The bill to clean up litter from England's streets topped £850 million last year.

Keep Britain Tidy said Government figures show that clearing up dropped rubbish ranging from cigarettes to food wrappers cost councils £858 million from April 2008 to March 2009.

The figure for clearing up litter rose 10% on the previous financial year, up £78 million from £780 million in 2007/2008.

The anti-litter organisation is launching a campaign with local authorities across the country to encourage the public to help keep their areas clean by not dropping litter and by picking up rubbish such as empty drinks cans or crisp packets and putting them in the bin.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said the clean-up figure for rubbish people could not be bothered to put in the bin was "obscene".

"There seems to be an attitude of 'it's only one cigarette end' or 'it's only one burger wrapper'.

"All those individual items mount up to an estimated two million pieces of litter a day dropped in England," he said.

"We all complain when we see what is perceived to be wasteful spending in organisations and institutions and yet we, as a country, seem to be quite happy to throw litter and consequently money away.

"It is time for everyone in this country to clean up their act."

"A change in everyone's behaviour will save money but it will also make this country a cleaner, greener and better place to live."

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