Defra appoints Resource Futures to help tackle littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling

18 May 2023

Resources Futures has been contracted by Defra to explore the use and effectiveness of enforcement against littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling offences in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These activities are harmful to the environment and negatively impact our communities.

The project, which will run until the end of August 2023, aims to help Government understand how current enforcement powers are used and gain insight into current barriers and facilitators. Resource Futures will be working with Environmental Policy and Regulation Ltd. on this research.

Public opinion on the correct approach to curb these behaviours is divided, with some believing that current enforcement practices are disproportionate and others that a stricter approach needs to be taken. We will also seek to gather further information on the public perception of these practices.

“Litter, fly-tipping, and dog-fouling are not only damaging to our environment, they also impact the lives of people who are victims of these crimes. Meanwhile, public and green spaces play an important role in community and wellbeing.

“This research will build on our previous work on deposit return schemes and single-use plastics ban to improve local environmental quality and ensure these spaces can be enjoyed by all for years to come. We look forward to the opportunity to contribute to this important policy topic.”

George Cole, Director at Resource Futures

Publicly available data on these offences is limited; Resource Futures will be working extensively with stakeholders across the public sector to gain further insight.

Surveys and interviews will be held to understand the different approaches taken to enforcement and how this impacts littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling offences. This will be followed by workshops which will focus on stakeholder views as to how policy changes could improve enforcement effectiveness.

Update: the final report was published by Defra in January 2024. Download the report