Roadside litter is a risk to wildlife, the environment and workers who have to pick it up, as well as being unsightly, says Highways England.
It has now joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy in a September campaign encouraging motorists to do their bit.
“Rubbish, dangerously thrown from vehicles and left to rot on our roads, is a national disgrace,” said Keep Britain Tidy’s Richard McIlwain.
“It damages wildlife that has taken refuge along these valuable corridors that are currently punctuated by chucked food and drink packaging, and millions of flicked cigarette butts.”
Roadside litter, he added, is “arguably one of Britain’s worst forms of littering”.
Highways England says 200,000 bags of litter are collected from the motorway network each year.
This, said the organisation’s Freda Rashdi, “puts our workers at risk collecting it and diverts time and money that could be better spent on improving the network”.
Highways England is now organising extra litter picks in September and is urging motorists to take their litter home.
“We want to use this campaign as a springboard to a longer-term partnership that will increase campaigning to raise awareness that stops people tossing litter from vehicles once and for all.”
The Great British September Clean runs until 27 September.