DON'T be a mug - that's the plea from Southend Council as it launches a fresh blitz on litter. 

The council behind a new anti-litter campaign reminding residents and visitors of their responsibility to dispose of litter appropriately, and to take their rubbish home if they see a bin is full.

The "Don’t be a mug" campaign has been launched as the council continues to reiterate messaging around personal responsibility when it comes to throwing away rubbish.

The campaign includes various messages around taking your rubbish home if you see a bin that’s full, considering the impact on wildlife and marine species and respecting parks, open spaces and beaches.

The messages will be displayed on large boards, bin and floor stickers, social media adverts, banners and posters.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, Lib Dem cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Globally, litter has caused, and continues to cause, devastating damage to our planet.

"I know that a Council campaign isn’t going to completely solve the problem, but we must impress on everyone the importance of the message and I hope this campaign will help.

"We must all work together to tackle this problem.

“Previous campaigns have worked well, and we have seen an improvement in people’s recycling habits at home, but we know that far too often our words fall on deaf ears when it comes to our beaches and parks. It is disheartening to see so many bins surrounded by litter.

"So, if you see a bin is full, please do the right thing and take your rubbish home with you. Our recycling and waste contractor Veolia and parks staff are working around the clock, particularly on hot days where we see a drastic spike in visitor numbers, but it is impossible to keep up at times.

“We are continuing to discuss different ways of reducing the amount of litter and bags left around bins, but it is essential everyone plays their part.

"We are often pushed to issue fines for people littering, this is not straight forward, but we will take action where possible and it remains a pivotal part of our conversations going forward.

“We will monitor how the campaign goes over the coming weeks, and we hope by using stronger language and reaching a wider audience we will get the message across.

“So please, throw your rubbish in a bin and if the bin is full, take it home.”