LitterStrategyScots are being urged to do the right thing and use the bin with the launch of Scotland’s first national litter strategy since devolution.

A staggering 250 million bits of visible litter are dropped in Scotland each year, damaging the environment and posing a risk to public health – with littering and flytipping costing at least £53 million of public money to tackle.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has unveiled the Scottish Government strategy, Towards a Litter-free Scotland, which aims to reduce litter and flytipped waste and increase recycling by encouraging us all to take personal responsibility.

The strategy is backed by actions to improve information, infrastructure and enforcement. Early action and action already being taken by the Scottish Government, with resource efficiency partner Zero Waste Scotland, includes:LitterStrategy1

  • A new Scottish Government marketing campaign, which starts today, highlighting littering as unacceptable behaviour
  • The recent increase in fixed penalties for littering and flytipping from £50 to £80 and £200 respectively
  • Introducing a 5p charge for single-use bags in Scotland from October 2014
  • New enforcement powers for the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, SEPA and other public bodies from April 1, 2015
  • Funding over two years for Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Clean up Scotland campaign
  • Pilot incentive schemes to reward communities for voluntary clean-ups in local black spots
  • A call for designers, industry and students and academics to come forward with ideas to improve the design of products and packaging
  • Trialling new, tailored public information tactics aimed at motivating people to dispose of waste properly

Litter is waste in the wrong place – it includes everything from drinks cans and bottles, crisp packets, take away food packaging, cigarettes and chewing gum to apple cores and banana skins.

Towards a Litter-free Scotland, which covers a five-year period, sets out how Scotland can benefit from better environmental quality and safer, more prosperous communities, in place of the current problems of litter and flytipping, which negatively affect people and wildlife in our communities and our waterways.