The group has called on McDonald’sand other fast-food companies to do more to tackle customers who throw their wrappers on the streets.
Keep Britain Tidy’s branded litter survey of ten city centres and suburbs showed that McDonald’s material accounted for 29% of litter, Greggs 18%, KFC 8% and Subway 5%.
Unbranded litter from fish and chip or kebab shops made up 21% of the fast food total, while other branded coffee rubbish totalled 5%.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said: “This is the very first time we have looked at which brands make up littered England. Of the ten cities surveyed the same brands appeared again and again.
“We condemn litterers for dropping this fast food litter in the first place but also believe the results have pertinent messages for the fast food industry.
“McDonald’s, the local chip shop, Greggs, KFC and Subway need to do more to discourage littering by their customers.”
A McDonald’s spokesman told the Guardian: “We do our best. Obviously we ask all our customers to dispose of litter responsibly.”
The findings come at a time when McDonald’s say that its food sales are up as people beat the credit crunch by cutting back from eating in higher market restaurants.
Keep Britain Tidy has wrote to fast food companies urging them to reduce unnecessary packaging, reduce prices for those who stayed to eat food on their premises, increase signage in restaurants with anti-litter messages, put more bins at strategic points and offer money-off vouchers or incentives to customers who return packaging.
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: “Litter is everyone’s problem - we all need to do our bit – and the fast food industry must shoulder more responsibility to put a stop to litter on our streets.”