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Folkestone litter enforcement officers act entirely within the law say council

Contributed by editor on Nov 28, 2012 - 08:45 AM

A claim that Xfor staff working for Shepway Council are acting illegally has been refuted by the District Council.


A Localrags' reader made the allegations in a letter to the website.

They wrote claiming to have, "observed on more than one occasion the Shepway contractors Xfor staff spying and following people around the town centre at Folkestone waiting for them to drop a fag butt or litter," and allege that: "Following and waiting for an offence is illegal practice and the people given tickets should appeal."

The reader has asked us to bring this to Shepway Council's notice.

We have spoken with Shepway District Council (SDC) and it has responded saying that the enforcement officers act entirely within the law.

A spokesperson for SDC issued the following statement which states: "Our enforcement officers act entirely within the law and we would challenge any inference to the contrary. They observe and enforce if necessary. The solution is simple, of course. If people didn’t drop litter – and cigarette butts are litter – they wouldn’t get fined."

 


How long does it take for cigarette filter tips to decompose?

The core of most cigarette filters -- the part that looks like white cotton, is actually a form of plastic called cellulose acetate. By itself, cellulose acetate is very slow to degrade in our environment. Depending on the conditions of the area the cigarette butt is discarded in, it can take 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette filter to decompose.

Used cigarette filters are full of toxins and leach into the ground and waterways, damaging living organisms that are in contact with them. Most filters are discarded with traces of tobacco still attached to them which pollutes the environment with nicotine.

© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2012


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