MCDONALD'S has come under fire for 'allowing' rubbish to accumulate on an 'almost daily' basis outside a busy high street restaurant.

The fast-food chain, which is currently the subject of a petition calling for driver number plates to be added to receipts at its drive-thrus, has been again criticised.

Residents hit out at the chain claiming paper cups and burger boxes have been left strewn outside its High Street West restaurant in Sunderland.

However, McDonald's has said it takes littering "very seriously," while Sunderland City Council has said it is working with the chain to prevent further incidents.

One resident, who said they walk past the restaurant almost every day, said they had recognised an increase in rubbish accumulating outside the premises in recent months.

The Northern Echo:

The scene outside the High Street West store in Sunderland 

The resident also claimed bins were often full with packaging from the premises, and rubbish had been left on public seating areas.

She said: "It's absolutely ridiculous, it's like this every day - people just don't care and nothing is being done about it."

It comes as a petition online has gained more than 62,000 signatures calling on fast food chains including McDonald's to print vehicle registration numbers on receipts.

The petition, which is on, said that such measures are desperately needed to prevent littering at drive-thru sites across the UK.

In response to the concerns in Sunderland, McDonald's said it takes littering "very seriously," and said it carries out routine patrols of the site.

The Northern Echo:

A spokesperson for the chain said: “We take our responsibility around litter very seriously, so it is deeply disappointing that a minority of our customers dispose of our packaging irresponsibly.

"Our Sunderland team carries out at least three litter patrols a day around the restaurant to help combat the issue, collecting all litter, not just McDonald’s branded packaging.

"Large bins are also located outside of the restaurant. We encourage our customers to help us tackle this problem, by using these bins, or taking their litter home and recycling or disposing of it responsibly.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland City Council warned fines potentially rising to £2,500 given to those caught littering, as it said it was working with the chain to prevent further incidents.

A spokesperson for the council said: "Littering is careless and thoughtless. It blights our communities and wastes taxpayers money to clean it up. 

"The council is working alongside McDonald's to prevent further incidents in this area and has adopted a robust approach towards people who are caught dropping litter, which will result in them facing fines of £150, rising to £2,500 if the fixed penalty notice is not paid and the case ends up with conviction in the Magistrates Court."