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Tackling trolley littering in Stratford

SCORES of shopping trolleys are abandoned across the UK each week but a new initiative launched in Stratford could lead to an important legal and environmental clampdown on trolley dumping.

The physical act of taking and not returning a trolley - or trolley littering as it is known - is theft and can lead to a minimum fine of £200; often the trolley is then left abandoned or dumped in the nearest brook or stream.

This month saw the first meeting of a new group of local organisations who are planning a crackdown on trolley littering in town. It included Rubbish Friends, Stratford District Council, Tesco, police community support and Biffa representatives.

It’s estimated that five to ten trolleys go missing across Stratford district each day. Each trolley costs £25 to retrieve and return to the supermarket it came from. That cost is then passed on to shoppers with a price increase on shelves in store.

Those present at last week’s meeting acknowledged that district council officers could issue fixed penalty notices for fly tipping and this could be in addition to the fine issued by a court if the store prosecute for theft, however, it was also envisaged by the group that raising public awareness about the problem would also help prevent it happening in the first place.

“Dumped trolleys can endanger wildlife, are often pushed into a brook which then gets blocked and causes stagnant water and pollution; in effect rubbish breeds rubbish,” Becky Reynolds from Rubbish Friends said.

The working party will now liaise on the best way forward to tackle the trolley littering issue at their next meeting.

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