The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


I have a fantastic idea. Any political party, wanting to get into power, adopt this idea. It’s that good. In fact, it’s so good, it’s a little bit scary.

It was inspired by the sight of a McDonald’s takeaway bag in my garden. I thought how ironic it is that these massive corporations, McDonald’s, Coke, KFC, spend so much on advertising and yet for much of the time, the place where we most often see their logo is in the gutter.

So my thought is this. To prevent litter – fine the company advertising on it.

It’d be simple to administrate. People who’s job it is to pick up litter – those poor, under-appreciated souls who do more to improve our quality of life than any other – simply put aside any litter with a company name, address or logo on it. Next, pass the details on to an office, whose job it is fine the company in question. And they use the fine to pay for the administration, and hopefully to increase the wages of the poor soul who picked up the litter in the first place

I cannot see how this plan would not work. It would create a massive incentive to those companies to prevent the spread of litter – the litter they created. Just in case they decide to stop putting their logo on things – make it compulsory. After all, this would hardly constitute a loss of freedom or increase their overheads, as it something they are willingly doing already for the benefit of advertising. It would cost them money to stop doing it.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron, the other guy, I don’t care who, just someone adopt this policy. It’s a vote-winner. It mightn’t prevent the blight of anonymous polythene bags, but it would make a huge difference.


  1. “I cannot see how this plan would not work"

    I can - if people realise they can litter without incurring any penalty, they would do it all the more.

    And you could get people actively littering or "protest littering" just to harm companies they dislike.

    And who would want to sort through bags and bags of shite just to note down company logos?

    No, on the spot executions for littering is the only way.

  2. 'Wouldn't work?' Pah! They said that about the invasion of Iraq!

    People would still incur a penalty for littering. It's just that the company who provided the litter would *also* get punished. It would encourage them to use less packaging, provide more bins and make their customers eat on the premises.

    To 'protest litter' people would have to buy the goods in the first place. Oh, you mean people taking McDonalds wrappers out of bins and littering with them. Good point. I don't really think anyone would bother, would they? These are very popular food outlets, after all.

    You wouldn't need to sort through bags; it'd be done asthe litter was being picked up. After, say, the tenth piece of litter with a company's logo on it, they get presented with a fine.

  3. You're talking rubbish!

    McDonalds may be popular, but there are many people who hate the corporation and would like to bring it down. Or even hurt it in a tiny way, such as by protest littering.

    But still, send this idea in to your local MP - doubt they read this blog (or any!)