Section 89 (1) of the EPA 90 places a duty on all local authorities, and owners of land to which the public have access, to ensure that the land is kept clear of litter and refuse as far as is practicable. The duty applies to educational institutions, including universities and colleges (see Litter (Designated Education Institutions) Order 1991 for details). Section 87 makes it an offence for any person to drop litter in any public open space, road and other designated land. The maximum penalty is a fine of £2,500.

A second edition of the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse was published in 1999. This provides guidance on acceptable standards of cleanliness. Four standards are defined:

The Code divides land into zones depending upon its use and the volume of traffic. Educational institutions are categorised as Zone 8. For each zone, the Code recommends standards that should be achieved and response times for restoring land to those standards.