The Government published the first Litter Strategy for England on 10 April, setting out our aim to clean up the country, including rivers and beaches.
Our strategy is to apply best practice in education, enforcement and infrastructure to deliver a substantial reduction in litter and littering behaviour within a generation. The common aim of all the actions in the Litter Strategy is to change the behaviour of those who currently feel that it is acceptable to drop litter. By reducing the amount of litter dropped, and improving cleaning, we will also reduce the litter reaching our rivers and beaches.
Pollution caused by sewage is controlled by discharge permits issued by the Environment Agency (EA) which must meet the requirements of various environmental regulations including the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations and Bathing Water Regulations. In England, between 2015 and 2020 water companies are investing over £2 billion to improve their sewerage infrastructure, guided by the requirements of the EA. This includes investment to improve sewage treatment works and collecting systems with the aim of reducing the polluting impact of sewage discharges on beaches and rivers. The results to date are that bathing waters are at their highest ever quality, thousands of miles of rivers have been improved and the number of pollution incidents greatly reduced.