Garbage Menace
Clearing litter and garbage costs government hundreds of millions of pounds every year Images

Litterbugs may not get away easy in the new year. The British government is all set to double fines to £150 ($220).

Currently, fines set by the local councils for littering ranges between £50 and £80. Once the new law comes into effect, the minimum fine could also double to £100. The Department of Communities and Local Government may devise a new strategy to enforce the fines in the coming months, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Communities Minister Marcus Jones said dropping litter is the kind of anti-social behaviour that really gets people's backs up. "If litter louts can't put their rubbish in the bin, perhaps we can hit them in the pocket instead," he pointed out.

"It's thoughtless, selfish and ruins shared spaces for everyone. Not only that, litter clearance and disposal costs hundreds of millions of pounds for councils every year — money that could be going on vital services."

The move comes as campaigners leading a cleaning drive ahead of the Queen's 90th birthday asked the public to challenge those who drop garbage in public places. Adrian Evan, the chief executive of the Clean for the Queen campaign, said some people think it is their birthright to throw garbage. Such behaviour should be challenged, he was quoted as saying by the Independent.

"It can be quite a scary thing because you are pointing a finger of blame, you are casting aspersions on the character of the person who has chucked the litter," he said.

"But the way I have done it in the past is to treat it as though they have made a mistake and something has inadvertently fallen out of their bag or pocket. Sort of 'oh no, did you mean to drop that'?"