A REPORT on the state of litter on Welsh streets has found discarded packaging is present on 64.2 per cent of streets across the country.
The independent report, published by campaign group Keep Wales Tidy, is described as the first report of its kind since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It recorded 10,700 littered face masks during the period and it said PPE litter, which was included in street cleanliness surveys for the first time, was present in eight per cent of streets.
The ‘How Clean Are Our Streets’ report brings together results from thousands of street cleanliness surveys and is intended to give a ‘snapshot’ of litter and other environmental quality issues. It only covers streets and doesn’t include parks and green spaces.
The report found litter related to smoking is the most common type, found on 74.6 per cent of streets.
While the report outlines the continued challenge of litter, and its prevalence across the nation, it also reported that recorded dog fouling is at its lowest level since street cleanliness surveys began in 2007-08 and was present on just eight per cent of streets.
Litter from confectionery, including sweet wrappers and crisp packets, was found on nearly half of streets and drinks litter remained at pre-pandemic levels and was found on 44 per cent of streets.
Keep Wales Tidy has highlighted the results as supporting its calls for the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the UK which would place new duties on packaging producers to pay for the treatment or disposal of their goods.
The charity, and other environmental groups, believe that would encourage producers to reduce waste and promote more sustainable product design as, it says, is in the case in many European countries.
Keep Wales Tidy chief executive Lesley Jones said a public consultation has demonstrated support for such a scheme: “The prevalence of littered packaging across Wales further strengthens the case for EPR. The responsibility for tackling litter does not rest solely with local authorities and the financial burden on the public purse must be reduced.”
Welsh Government deputy climate change minister Lee Water said it agrees with the principles of extended producer responsibility and will make an announcement in “due course”.
The street surveys cover a six per cent sample of streets, selected at random, from full lists of adopted highways provided by each local authority.
- This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.