A COUNTY-WIDE litter campaign was launched by Wiltshire Council on Monday to try and reduce the £2.5m the authority spends up on cleaning up rubbish every year.

The first phase of #CleanUpWilts, sponsored by Landmarc Support Services, aims to tackle fly-tipping throughout the county by raising awareness of the penalties and consequences dumping waste.

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste, said: "It is very disappointing that people feel it is acceptable to discard litter in Wiltshire.

"We spend £2.5m on clearing up our beautiful landscape and this is a totally avoidable cost. This is money that could be better spent on vital frontline services.

"I am so pleased that local businesses are supporting this campaign, which aims to raise awareness of this totally unacceptable behaviour and provide a practical solution with the bag for life for people to keep in their vehicle.

"If we all do our bit and take our litter home and not throw it out of vehicles, we will help to keep Wiltshire beautiful, protect the wildlife, and be in a position to allocate the current budget on other key services."

The second stage gets underway in February and will focus on fast food, on-the-go littering, and the provision of sponsored bags for life to help drivers take their litter home with them.

The third phase, which will begin in March, will encourage community litter picks and clean-up of local litter hot spots.

For more information email events@wiltshire.gov.uk.