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North Devon Council is working in partnership with local environmental charity Plastic Free North Devon as part of a new campaign to encourage residents and visitors alike to take their rubbish home if bins are full.

During the bin sticker campaign, many local council litter and dog waste bins will present a very simple message: 'if this bin is full, please take your rubbish home'. The aim is to prevent people from leaving their litter on top of or beside full bins, which culprits don’t always realise is actually littering, punishable by an on-the-spot fine of up to £100.

Lead Member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, says: "We live in a beautiful part of the country and one of our key corporate priorities is to protect and enhance the environment of the area.

"People may not think there’s any problem with leaving their waste near to a bin when it’s full, but in fact this practice leads to litter being strewn across our precious landscape and is just another form of littering. This bin sticker campaign will nudge people in the right direction by reminding them that we each have a personal responsibility for the waste we produce, and if a bin is full we should take it away with us."

CEO for Plastic Free North Devon, Claire Moodie, says: "Everyone who produces waste whether, as an individual or a business, has a duty of care to take reasonable measures to make sure it is disposed of properly.  The aim of this campaign is to try and connect people with their actions and the impact rubbish can have on our environment and wildlife. Taking rubbish home when a bin is full is a simple step that everyone can get involved with and is another step forward towards helping us 'protect our playground'."

Residents and visitors are being encouraged to take a picture of the stickers when they see them and to share them on their social media channels by tagging North Devon Council and Plastic Free North Devon, both of which are also on Instagram and Twitter.

Tackling litter is also a key aim of the council's ‘Clear Messages’ campaign, in which residents are asked to help fight environmental crime across North Devon with the mantra ‘challenge it, report it, change it’.

Anyone who has an information on an incident of littering, slytipping or flytipping is encouraged to report it via the councils website.