Litter louts making a mess of North Devon have been warned they could now face a fine of £150 under tough new measures.

Litter on the estuary in North Devon. Picture: NDCLitter on the estuary in North Devon. Picture: NDC

From April 1 the fine for littering almost doubled from £80 to £150 and as part of its Clear Messages campaign, in association with the North Devon Gazette, North Devon Council has said it will be taking a ‘robust response’ to enforce the rules.

The council’s Environmental Protection team wants people to challenge and reporting those they see littering.

It wants people to act as a good role model to our children, friends and relatives; reduce the amount they throw away and play their part in clearing up and keeping public spaces free from litter.

Off the back of the Plastic Free North Devon campaign promoted by Surfers Against Sewage and with growing public support, the council says it would like to make the district a litter free zone too.

Litter on the North Devon Link Road. Picture: NDCLitter on the North Devon Link Road. Picture: NDC

The changes to fines for littering follow a public consultation by the government, with many people saying they supported stronger fines.

Under the new measures, vehicle owners could also receive a penalty charge notice when it can be proved that litter was thrown from their car, even if it was discarded by a passenger.

In North Devon, the council has carried out its annual litter pick of the Link Road, which last year saw more than 1,200 bags of rubbish collected from a 34 mile stretch over a six week period.

Executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, says: “Litter on beaches is big news at the moment and it’s clear that attitudes towards litter are changing.

“Initiatives such as the ‘2 Minute Beach Clean’ and Plastic Free North Devon are inspiring people to make positive steps to prevent and control the damaging effects of litter on our environment.

“We also have some really active, established litter picking groups in local communities around the district and if there isn’t one in your area, perhaps you could start one?”

Neighbourhood officer Alan Kyle warned the council was taking a robust response in line with the new guidelines.

He added: “Keepers of vehicles also need to understand that officers will be able to issue fixed penalty notices through the post for each littering offence, especially when travelling on our roads.”

If you would like to organise clean-up events or get involved, call the council on 01271 374776 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.

Report littering or fly-tipping at www.northdevon.gov.uk/litter.