The staggering facts of roadside rubbish

A new survey has revealed that while 70 per cent of drivers think throwing litter from vehicles is annoying, 50 per cent admit to doing it.

Nearly three-quarters of people asked by car breakdown service Autonational Rescue said drive-by littering was the ‘most annoying habit on the road’.

Yet enough rubbish is thrown onto our roads in the UK to fill nearly 750,000 bin bags every single year, according to the Highways Agency.

A staggering 1.3million individual pieces of litter are dumped on UK roads just at weekends, many of them by motorists and their passengers.

“So why on earth do we do it?” said Autonational’s marketing manager Ronan Hart. “When it seriously annoys so many people and makes our roads and streets look so ugly?

“Some local authorities have introduced litter wardens who can fine people in the street for litter offences, but they can’t easily catch the anti-social motorists who do it on the move.”

And animals also pay a heavy price for our behaviour.

UK vets have estimated that around 70,000 domestic and wild animals are killed or hurt by rubbish every year.

“That’s the real tragic cost of the litter that we throw away,” said Ronan.

“All we can do is urge motorists, passengers and members of the public alike to take their litter home with them and dispose of it (or better still recycle it) safely and cleanly.”