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Fixed Penalty Notice Littering Appeal – Pay or Challenge?

Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine Marsh Thrifty Family

Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.

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· Jun 12th, 2024
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Fixed Penalty Notice Littering

Have you received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for littering? Each month, this site guides over 32,000 visitors, just like you, who are seeking advice on such tickets and fines. This can be a worrying time, but we have the information you need to make an informed decision.

In this article, we’ll guide you through:

  •  Understanding what a Fixed Penalty Notice for littering is and why you might get one.
  • Learning how to appeal an FPN and possibly beat your ticket.
  • Exploring who issues these notices and what the police can do about littering.
  • Discovering the fines related to littering and what happens if you don’t pay your FPN.
  • Finding out how you can avoid prosecution for littering and what to do if you can’t afford to pay the fine.

Our team has dealt with many cases similar to yours, so we understand how concerning it is to receive an FPN. Let’s dive in to learn how you can handle your littering penalty.

Do You Have to Pay?

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

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In partnership with Just Answer.

Who issues Fixed Penalty Notices?

Several authorities issue Fixed Penalty Notices. However, when it comes to littering, the fines are typically issued by:

  • Local and district authorities
  • The National Park Authority
  • Police community support officers (PCSOs)
  • The Environment Agency
  • The Police

It’s worth noting that many local and district authorities ask members of the public to report anyone they see littering!

Check out what happened to one person who got a littering fine and posted this message on a popular forum:

Who issues Fixed Penalty Notices

Source: Moneysavingexpert

What can police do about littering?

The police have the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if they catch you littering. They also have the right to ask you to give them your name and address. 

Plus, if you fail to give them your real name and address, you could be prosecuted!

You could be arrested for giving false information to an authority!

It’s worth noting that you must be told about the offence you are being questioned about and why the authority needs to know your details!

Is littering in the UK a crime?

Yes. Littering in the UK is deemed a criminal offence even though a Fixed Penalty Notice falls under civil law.

So, if you’re caught littering and you receive an FPN whether you’re given the notice on the spot or the offence is caught on camera, you should take it seriously!

How can you avoid prosecution for littering?

The only way to avoid prosecution for littering is to accept the Conditional Offer. Once you pay the fine, you discharge liability and therefore a potential conviction gets quashed.

There is a second option which can be risky. This is to go to court and challenge the Fixed Penalty Notice. But make sure you have grounds to challenge the fine otherwise you could end up losing the case.

Plus, the original fine goes up and you’d also have to pay court costs!

What is the Environmental Protection Act UK 1990?

The Environment Protection Act 1990 imposes specific responsibilities on local authorities (and some landowners) to keep areas litter-free and refuse-free.

The Act was revised by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 which saw local and district councils taking things very seriously when it comes to littering offences!

In short, local councils and other authorities have the power to fine anyone who throws or drops litter and who commits a littering offence in public areas.

This includes:

  • Cans
  • Food wrappers
  • Bottles
  • Anything smoking-related
  • Plastic bags
  • Place items in drains
  • All other offences classed as ‘littering’

In short, littering in the UK is an offence that carries a hefty fine!

It’s estimated that over a million pieces of litter are dropped every day in the UK which ends up costing the taxpayer more than £1 billion annually.

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

Get started

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What’s the fine for littering?

You’d get a hefty £150 for littering which can be reduced if you pay the fine early. But you’d still have to pay £75 for having committed the offence even when you do!

How do you appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice for littering?

You don’t actually ‘appeal’ a Fixed Penalty Notice for littering as there’s no actual process to do so. However, you have the option to do two things which I’ve listed below:

  1. You can opt not to accept liability and challenge the fine in court, or
  2. You can pay the fine which means you admit liability and that’s the end of it

You should seek legal advice before you decide to take the first option and challenge a littering fine. You may be entitled to legal aid which is always worth checking out. 

Moreover, getting legal advice is important when you intend on going to court!

Should you pay the fine early to pay less?

If you can afford to pay the fine within 14 days, you could pay 50% less than the original £150.

However, £75 is still a lot if you’re struggling with your finances. If you can’t afford to pay within 14 days, you should contact the issuer as soon as you can!

You can’t afford to pay the littering fine, what should you do?

As mentioned if you can’t afford to pay the littering fine, you should contact the issuing authority as soon as possible.

You should explain your personal circumstances to:

  • The issuing court
  • The authority who issued the littering fine

It’s worth noting that you can’t pay a littering fine in instalments!

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

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How do you pay a fine for littering?

You need to check the Fixed Penalty Notice you got to see who issued it. The notice should include ways to pay and the deadlines for paying the FPN.

You need to provide the following info when you pay the fine:

  • The Fixed Penalty Notice reference number
  • Your payment method

Once the issuing authority receives your payment, they’ll send you a confirmation email. No further action is taken against you as soon as you’ve paid the littering fine.

What if you don’t pay an FPN for littering?

If you don’t pay the fine for littering, the issuing authority will take you to court. You’d receive a court summons and if you ignore it, you’d lose by default!

In short, an order to pay the fine is registered against you and it becomes a debt. It means that enforcement agents could come knocking on your door to recover the amount owed, plus their fees and court costs!

You could end up paying a massive £2,500 fine for committing a littering offence which could be throwing down a used paper coffee cup!

Check out how much a littering fine could end up costing you which I’ve listed in the table below:

Actual fine for littering in the UK £150
What you’d pay if you settle a littering fine within 14 days £75
What you’d pay if you don’t meet the 28-day deadline £225
What you’d pay if you lose a case in court £2,500

Could you get a CCJ for littering?

Yes. You could get a CCJ if you ignore the fine or you refuse to pay an FPN for littering and a default judgement is passed against you!

As mentioned, you have just two options when dealing with a littering fine. You can:

  • Pay the fine within 14 days to pay less or pay it later and pay the full amount
  • Dispute the fine and attend a court hearing because that’s the only way you can challenge it

A County Court Judgement on your credit file will damage your credit rating making it that much harder to get a credit card, bank loan or mortgage.

You can find out whether you’ve got a CCJ on your credit file by checking out our Youtube video!

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

Lastly, Fixed Penalty Notice littering appeal, pay or challenge the fine?

You have two options when you’re caught committing a littering offence. First, you can admit liability and pay the fine within 14 days. Like this, you still pay a whopping £75 but you avoid a lot of stress and hassle.

Your second option is to dispute the litter fine in court. However, you should seek legal advice first because losing a case in court could end up costing you a lot more than the initial £150 littering fine!

If you’re struggling with your finances and finding it hard to settle a littering fine, you should contact the issuer straight away. Tell them about your personal circumstances.

Then get in touch with a debt charity to ask for their free advice!

However, it’s worth noting that you cannot pay a Fixed Penalty Notice for littering in instalments! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I really hope you find the information helpful in dealing with a Fixed Penalty Notice for littering so it doesn’t cost you a fortune!

Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.


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Janine Marsh Thrifty Family
Janine is a financial expert who supports individuals with debt management, cost-saving resources, and navigating parking tickets.