FAST-FOOD restaurants could be asked to sponsor litter picks in a bid to clear up grotty highways.

Concerned councillors want to tackle the amount of litter generated from fast food outlets around Tendring, particularly on the A133 and the A120.

Tendring Council officers said they already work closely with McDonald’s, KFC and Domino’s Pizza, who they said make an effort to keep the areas around their premises as clean and tidy as possible.

But councillors are angry that some customers discard their bags and wrappings out of cars further down the road, blighting the district’s roads.

The council’s service development and delivery committee has called for action to be taken, including asking firms in the fast food industry to consider sponsoring litter picks.

There is also a call for more education in schools and colleges as well as increasing the number of little bins in laybys along main routes such as the A120.

The councillors also want to look into what conditions could be put into a planning approval for a new outlet to get them to take more responsibility for litter generated by their business.

John Fox, the council’s head of environmental services, said the committee was clear that it wants something done to get to grips with the problem.

“It is an on-going issue across Tendring and we have a better relationship with some outlets compared to others,” he said.

“Obviously it is easier for them to deal with the litter close to their premises but not so easy when it is thrown out of a car three miles down the road.

“That is about the personal responsibility of the customer and that is where education comes in.”

The measures put forward by the committee will be investigated.

Michael Talbot, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said he would be keen to support any proportionate action which could be taken to reduce rubbish around Tendring’s roads.

Val Guglielmi, vice-chairman of the service development and delivery committee, said some fastfood restaurants sich as McDonalds have been co-operative in past.

“You can’t blame the restaurants, it is about educating customers to take their rubbish home with them,” she said.

“Litter has increased on the A133 and A120 in recent years and that is probably due to the introduction of drive-thru restaurants.”