The former director of a plastering and screeding company has been fined and ordered to pay legal costs after throwing a cigarette butt from his van.
Aaron Baker of Beechways, Ordsall, Retford pleaded guilty to littering and failing to return a Section 108 Notice at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 22nd January 2020. He was fined £100 for each offence and ordered to pay £500 costs and a £32 victim surcharge, totalling £732.
A member of the public witnessed Baker throwing what appeared to be a cigarette butt from a Citroen Van on the morning of 24th July 2019 at the junction of Kilton Hill and Blyth Road. This was subsequently reported to Bassetlaw District Council’s Environmental Health Team.
A study, led by Anglia Ruskin University, estimated that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered globally each year making them the planet's most pervasive form of plastic pollution.
Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “This may appear to be a severe punishment for discarding a cigarette butt. However, whether it is a drinks bottle, food packaging or a cigarette that is discarded irresponsibly, it is still littering and it all pollutes our environment, makes our streets and roadsides look untidy and is a criminal offence.
A Keep Britain Tidy campaign in 2017/18 surveyed 7,200 sites around the UK and found that dropped cigarette butts were found in 79% of sites.
As well as plastic, cigarette filters are comprised of thousands of chemical ingredients, including arsenic, lead and nicotine, all of which can leak into marine environments, have been proven to stifle plant growth and can take decades to break down.
Cllr Leigh added: “We are taking a tough approach to all enviro-crime and will not hesitate to take action when we have the necessary evidence. I would also like to thank the member of the public who reported this to us and has helped to make our district a cleaner place.”
A Section 108 Notice was issued to BW Plastering and Screeding Ltd, who were the legal owners of the vehicle. Following investigations, it transpired that Baker was the only person who drove that particular vehicle and was the only one of the three directors of the company who smoked.
It was also revealed that Baker, 23, was no longer a director of the company and parted ways with the other directors in August 2019 following questions over his conduct and integrity with the company.
A Section 108 Notice was then issued to Baker, who failed to provide the required information within the set timescale. He was ordered to appear before the courts and following a guilty plea, was convicted and sentenced for littering and failing to respond to a Section 108 Notice.
Last Updated on Wednesday, March 4, 2020