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Cleaner, safer communities

Towards a Litter-free Scotland’ advocates a Scotland which benefits from better environmental quality and safer, more prosperous communities, in place of the current problems of litter and flytipping.

At its heart is prevention: encouraging individuals to take personal responsibility to make sure that waste does not pollute the environment in the first place.

The strategy’s purpose is to influence littering, flytipping and recycling behaviours through interventions on:

  • Information - improving the sources and nature of messages. For example, through the 2014 marketing campaign to discourage littering and a communication toolkit.
  • Infrastructure  - the facilities and services provided to reduce litter and promote recycling. For example, expanding the Recycle for Scotland initiative and increased recycling in public places.
  • Enforcement - strengthening the deterrent effect of legislation. For example, through higher fixed penalties for litter and flytipping.

This will enhance and reinforce work already underway across public, private and third sector organisations.

The Scottish Government’s role is to support its delivery partners: land owners and managers, local authorities, business, charities, voluntary organisations, community groups and the resource management sector.

If we all do the right thing we can start to make a difference and enjoy cleaner, safer communities. We will work with our resource efficiency partner, Zero Waste Scotland, to identify how best to work with our partners in shaping the strategy’s tactics.

NLS links with other action to support cleaner safer communities‘Towards a Litter-free Scotland’ complements Marine Scotland’s Scottish Marine Litter Strategy, which aims to address litter affecting marine and coastal environments.

This partnership approach links to wider action to improve environmental quality, such as tackling dog fouling and graffiti.

The strategy was informed by Zero Waste Scotland’s research: Scotland’s Litter Problem: the scale and cost of litter and flytipping and the Scottish Government’s national litter strategy consultation. Responses to the consultation were published by the Scottish Government.

Further action

The Scottish Government, with Zero Waste Scotland:

  • Is calling for innovative ideas to help prevent and tackle the impact of litter and flytipping across Scotland.
  • Provides funding for Keep Scotland Beautiful’s community clean-up work through Clean Up Scotland.
  • Promotes re-use and repair through Revolve - the reuse organisations’ quality standard.
  • Commissioned a drinks container deposit-return scheme feasibility study.
  • Supported the Transport Litter Group’s Litter Week of Action to cut litter on the transport network.
  • Funds the Scottish Flytipping Forum.
  • Has taken forward legislation to:
    • Increase the fixed penalties for litter and flytipping to £80 and £200 respectively - from 1 April 2014.
    • Create a requirement for alleged offenders to provide their name and address to enforcement officers - from 1 June 2014.
    • Clarify local authorities’ powers regarding the placement and retrieval of bins, in order to reduce accidental litter - from 1 June 2014.
    • Introduce a charging scheme for single-use carrier bags - a highly visible form of litter - from 20 October 2014.
    • Create powers for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and other public bodies, to issue fixed penalties for litter and flytipping - from 1 April 2015.
    • Discourage large-scale flytipping, with new powers for SEPA and action to recover landfill tax from illegally deposited wastes by Revenue Scotland and SEPA.