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The Business Environmental Charter

The Business Environmental Charter is an entirely voluntary agreement between your business and Litter Watch. It provides a framework for businesses to identify how, when and where litter problems are arising, and to work in partnership with the Litter Watch to resolve these issues.

Who is the Business Environmental Charter for?
The Environmental Charter is for any business in the following towns Smethwick, Tipton, Rowley, Wednesbury, Oldbury and West Bromwich, large or small, which through its operations or staff may produce smoking related litter. By signing up to the Charter, your business is demonstrating a commitment to reducing the level of smoking related litter on our streets and keeping the environment a clean and safe place to work, live and visit.

What are the benefits to your business?
Signing up to the Business Environmental Charter provides you with the following benefits:

• Clean public spaces attract custom
The quality of public space matters to everyone including businesses. Cigarette ends and other items discarded as litter degrade the perception of a business and will reduce trade. Businesses are, in part, responsible for managing this issue.

• Demonstrating good practice
Businesses are powerful role models to customers – they can make a real difference by setting a strong example for instance, by displaying a poster to encourage customers and employees not to litter.

• Statutory obligations
Businesses are obliged to keep their land clear of litter and manage their trade waste. Legislation is available to local authorities to serve notice on those businesses that create excess litter, requiring that they clean up to 100m either side of their business.

• Local agreements are best
The Business Environmental Charter sets standards for different business types to make voluntary arrangements with the City of London Corporation that enable
everyone to play their part in pledging to keep the environment clean and tidy.

After you have signed up
Our Street Business & Community Liaison Officer may make an arrangement to meet with you informally to discuss a set of minimum standards to achieve.
• Information and advice on positioning bins around your premises
• Planned and ad hoc enforcement activities

What Litter Watch can do for you?
As part of the Charter, the Business & Community Liaison Officer can:
• Offer free advice and assistance with tackling litter
• Discuss with you any issues raised by the checklist and help you in finding solutions to litter around your premises
• Ensure that all streets are part of a cleaning schedule. Any recommendations made as a result of the Business Environmental Charter are suggestions only. This is a voluntary agreement, and as a business you will only ever be asked to do what is reasonable and achievable

Reducing Smoking Related Litter - Solutions
Businesses that fail to maintain a clean and litter-free area around their premises are potentially subject to heavy financial penalties. Here are some ideas for reducing smoking related litter:
• Installing adequate numbers of cigarette bins around the business premises
• Putting posters up in windows to discourage customers from smoking
• Running internal anti-littering campaigns
• Providing portable ashtrays to customers and staff
• Keeping the premises and surrounding area clean by having regular clean-ups and sweeping whenever necessary
• Communicate with employees and work with them to produce a smoke-free policy or code of conduct
• Encourage and foster a litter conscious attitude amongst staff

What the law says about litter
In general, litter is defined as ‘anything that is dropped, thrown, left or deposited that causes defacement, in a public place that is found discarded onto public streets or open spaces’. This includes smoking related litter arising from occasions when employees congregate outside to smoke on the highway or public land.

Sandwell Council can issue the following notices:

Street Litter Control Notice - Section 93 Environmental Protection Act 1990
If there is a lot of cigarette litter on the street outside of your premises you could be issued with this notice. This requires the owner or occupier of the premises to keep the front of the premises, plus a reasonable distance either side clear of litter.

Litter Clearing Notice - Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005
Excessive litter on your premises could result in your business being issued with a Litter Clearing Notice. This requires the owner or occupier to clear the land of litter.

Fixed Penalty Notice - Section 87 Environmental Protection Act 1990
Your staff and customers could be subject to a fixed penalty notice if witnessed dropping litter on the street outside your premises.

This document can only serve as a guide to, and synopsis of the law relating to waste and litter. It does not constitute legal advice. It may be misleading if relied upon as a complete explanation of the legal issues involves. If any matter is to be acted upon, the full texts of part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and relevant statutory instruments must be consulted.

Business Environmental Checklist

Who is causing the smoking related Litter? (Tick any that apply)

Apart from installing ashtrays, what else does the business do to reduce litter?