A NEW campaign is putting pressure on litter louts after the conviction of an Essex man who was fined more than £750 for throwing a cigarette butt out of his car.

Local authorities and fast food restaurants have joined forces to create ‘Love Essex’ – a campaign fighting the scourge of people throwing litter out of their vehicles by highlighting recently increased fines for doing so.

Increases include fixed penalty notices of up to £150 and fines of up to £2,500, plus costs, upon conviction in a court.

Last month a Maldon man was fined a whopping £757 for tossing a cigarette out of a car window.

Braintree Council environment boss Wendy Schmitt said: “This year, the anticipated cost of keeping the Braintree district clean and tidy will be around £1.58million and picking up other people’s litter is an expensive part of that.

"It is literally throwing money away which should be spent on more important things.

“We have seen the negative impact of litter on nature and wildlife, as well as in our oceans on programmes such as Blue Planet.

"A lot of that litter such as bottles, food packaging, straws, cans and cups, has been wind-blown from further inland, eventually turning up on our coasts.

"It is now even more vital we all do whatever is necessary to save our environment, protect our wildlife and eradicate the littering bad habit.”

Banners will be displayed at 15 KFCs and three McDonald’s drive-through restaurants, and take-away packaging will be branded with ‘Can you afford to throw £150 away?’ slogans.