Published: 00:01, 08 April 2018
| Updated: 20:13, 10 April 2018
Car registration numbers should be printed on the bags of takeaway food in an effort to clamp down on litterers, a councillor says.
Canterbury Cllr Joe Howes believes such a move by the likes of McDonald's, KFC and Burger King would act as a major deterrent to those who don't think twice about ditching their litter on our streets.
He wants to see it implemented across the district's drive-thru outlets.
The Conservative says the cheap and simple action will see fast food chains take more responsibility for their customers' waste as well as boost the council's chances at catching litterbugs.
He explained: "It will act as a deterrent and also give us a chance to take action on those who drop rubbish as the bag will have their number plate on.
"Starbucks is quite happy to write down names of customers on cups so why can't fast food outlets do something similar?
"Technology could be installed but the simple and cheap way would be to use a pen as all that needs to be done is to write down the plate."
Cllr Howes hopes the likes of McDonald's can adopt the idea and has invited the outlets to speak with him about it.
He added: "It is just the minority of people who dump takeaway rubbish but I really think this will stop them from doing it.
"It's a team game so we can all work together to get what is best. I realise they won't want a scheme that will cost a lot of money but this won't - fast food chains need to take responsibility."
In response to Cllr Howes' proposal, McDonald's says it is committed to helping reduce litter but won't be trialling the idea.
A company spokesman said: “We take our responsibility as a local business very seriously.
"Our restaurants carry out at least four litter picks a day in line with our national commitment dating back over 30 years, when we became the first restaurant chain to introduce daily litter patrols.
"We provide bins in the surrounding areas of our restaurants, and have messaging in-store, on packaging, and in the drive-thru to encourage customers to dispose of their waste packaging responsibly."
The call for action comes after plans to almost double the fine for dropping litter in the district moved a step closer to fruition.
At the latest community committee meeting, councillors recommended increasing the figure to £150 from the current £80.
The motion will now go to the policy and resources committee for final approval later this month.
It comes after councils across England were given the power to raise fines after it was revealed regular clear-ups is costing cash-strapped councils £680 million a year.
In addition, authorities can also fine vehicle owners if it can be proved rubbish has been thrown from their car.