Publication - Impact assessment

National litter and flytipping consultation: strategic environmental assessment

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the proposed actions for the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy.

National litter and flytipping consultation: strategic environmental assessment
9. Landscape and visual impacts

9. Landscape and visual impacts

This section outlines the assessment of the proposals for the prevention of litter and flytipping against the scoped in topic of landscape and visual impacts. Whilst the SEA legislation does not provide any definition of the term “landscape” or “visual impacts”, NatureScot[171] quote the definition of the European Landscape Convention in defining landscape as “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”.

This section provides the contextual information to inform the assessment (in terms of the review of Plans, Programmes and Strategies (PPS) and the baseline information) as well as an assessment of the effects of the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy on landscape and visual impacts.

9.1 Relationship with other Plans, Programmes, Strategies and Environmental Objectives

The PPS that are relevant to the landscape and visual impact topic that have been reviewed to inform the assessment exercise are shown in Figure 9-1 and summarised thereafter.

Figure 9-1 Plans, Policies and Strategies related to Landscape and Visual Impacts

Plans, Policies and Strategies (PPS)

European PPS

  • European Landscape Convention
  • EU Single Use Plastic Directive

UK PPS

  • Environmental Protection Act
  • The Scottish Government Programme for Scotland
  • Five years on: A review of Scotland's national litter strategy
  • Towards a Litter Free Scotland
  • Land Reform Act
  • Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 (DRS Regulations)
  • Land Use Strategy for Scotland
  • A Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland
  • The NatureScot Statement 2005; The Landscape Policy Framework
  • Time for a new approach to tackling litterTowards a litter-ate Scotland 2020
  • Scottish National Planning Framework
  • Scottish Planning Policy

9.1.1 European level

The European Landscape Convention (2006) (ELC) seeks to promote the protection and management of urban and rural spaces. The ELC promotes the principles of developing and protecting landscapes through implementation of Landscape Quality Objectives requiring authorities to support public aspirations for their surroundings as opposed to solely expert opinion. The principles of the ELC are consistent with the aims of reducing littering and flytipping for the preservation of the Scottish landscape which suffers significant and continued detriment through the prevalence of litter. The ELC was adopted by the UK in 2006.

European Union (2019): Single Use Plastic Directive. The Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment highlights significant negative environmental, health and economic impacts stemming from the continued use of certain plastic products. Embedding a more circular approach to resources would support a reduction in waste and litter, which in turn will improve the aesthetic of the Scottish landscape.

9.1.2 UK level

UK Government (1990): The Environmental Protection Act seeks to improve resource use and environmental conditions through the control of waste collections and management across the UK. By prescribing that littering is an offence, the Act seeks to deter occurrences of littering, thus reducing visual impacts of litter on the landscape.

9.1.3 Scottish level

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 introduced a new right of responsible access covering Scottish onshore, inland water, and coastal environments. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, making minor amendments to the previous Act regarding access to land. The new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy complements these responsible access regulations by seeking to keep the Scottish landscape free of litter and waste materials.

The NatureScot Statement (2005): The Landscape Policy Framework (Policy Statement No. 05/01) sets out NatureScot approach on conserving and managing Scottish landscapes. The document emphasises the importance of landscapes across Scotland to both individual well-being and the economic success of an area. The document reiterates the remit of NatureScot to preserve the aesthetics and natural qualities whilst protecting wildlife and natural schemes. Reducing litter and flytipping will improve the visual impacts of the Scottish natural landscape.

Scottish Government (2011): The first land use strategy for Scotland, Getting the best from our land - A land use strategy for Scotland (2011)) had the objectives of: land-based businesses working with nature; responsible stewardship of Scotland’s natural resources; and urban and rural communities better connected to the land. The vision, objectives and principles of the strategy were retained and built upon by the second land use strategy; Getting the Best From Our Land: A Land Use Strategy For Scotland 2016-2021 (published in 2016). The strategy supports sustainable use of natural assets including the preservation of the quality of the natural environment that the new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy can help reinforce and protect.

Scottish Government (2014): A Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland identified five proposed strategic directions to reach a Zero Waste Scotland, supported by responsible behaviours. The strategy seeks to reduce the litter entering the marine environment, and one which has particularly detrimental characteristics in terms of visual impacts on the landscape and marine habitats in Scotland. A new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy would support the drive to reduce littering in a marine environment.

Scottish Government (2014): The Scottish National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy promotes the protection of Scottish lands from productive soils, to water resources and the natural landscapes, and this includes protection from littering on the Scottish terrestrial and marine habitat.

Scottish Government (2014): Toward a Litter free Scotland - The National Litter Strategy sets clear actions which have an impact upon landscape and visual aesthetic, when seeking to improve the environment through targeted approaches to litter and flytipping. The strategy seeks to educate the public to adopt alternative behaviours to waste management, through access to improved recycling opportunities, improved product design, awareness campaigns and targeted exploration to tackle litter on beaches. The strategy also proposes exploring enforcement opportunities and identifying pilot solutions to litter. The new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy will strengthen the progress made and include measures to resolve any gaps identified in the Litter Strategy- five years on: Review[172] published in March 2021. The review highlights that significant progress has been made and identifies key successes. However, it also recognises that litter and flytipping still pose a significant challenge that requires further concerted action; and identifies opportunities for potential future action. It specifically identifies the increase of litter in urban settings impacting negatively on visual and landscape aesthetics.

Time for a new approach to tackling litter (2020). Charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB)has worked in partnership with stakeholders across Scotland to track key indicators of local environmental quality, including litter, dog fouling, graffiti, vandalism and flytipping. KSB have noted that places across Scotland are suffering from a ‘lockdown impact’ (i.e. an increase in the severity of Scotland’s litter problem as well as a heightened awareness of the prevalence of poor environmental quality more broadly) and that the marginal improvements in recent years could be cancelled out and exacerbate wider issues associated with the decline in local environmental quality, particularly in most deprived communities[173].

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 (DRS Regulations). The driver for the DRS regulations is to promote and secure an increase in recycling of materials, forming part of the Scottish Government’s response to the global climate emergency, by ensuring the targeted materials are collected in larger quantities and separately to other materials. It is anticipated the DRS will reduce littering and thus improve landscape and visual impacts. Indeed, the DRS addresses common single-use packaging used for drinks containers (one of the most commonly littered items), by encouraging people to return that packaging to specified return points. During the consultation on the proposed DRS Scheme there was widespread agreement amongst both organisational and individual respondents that a well-run and appropriately targeted DRS could provide opportunities in relation to improving the environment, changing people’s attitudes to recycling and littering, and building the circular economy.

A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021-22 highlights existing plans to combat waste and reduce litter that will ensure a more environmentally friendly and cleaner Scotland, including the introduction of the UK’s first national Deposit Return Scheme that will increase the amount of drinks container material removed from the environment, and plans to introduce a ban on the single-use plastic items most commonly littered.

9.2 Baseline Characteristics

This section of the Environmental Report identifies and characterises current environmental baseline conditions for landscape and visual impacts. This baseline highlights the diverse nature of Scotland’s landscapes. It also identifies the terrestrial litter levels, and the impact litter has on communities and local environments.

9.2.1 Landscape (including townscapes and built heritage)

As part of its Natural Heritage Futures initiative, Scottish Natural Heritage identified a series of Natural Heritage Zones and used these areas to describe a vision for sustainable use of local natural heritage. A total of 21 zones were identified, each with its own, unique landscape as a result of the interaction of geology, landforms, wildlife and land use.

There are 40 National Scenic Areas (NSAs) in Scotland, covering more than one million hectares (12.7% of Scotland). As well as identifying Scotland’s finest scenery, the purpose of the NSA designation is to ensure the land is protected from inappropriate development with the Planning etc. The (Scotland) Act 2006 gave NSAs a statutory basis. This is achieved through the local authority planning scheme. Other areas designated for their landscape include two National Parks and three Regional Parks together with a number of Special (local) Landscape Areas.

There are six World Heritage Sites in Scotland: The Forth Bridge, St. Kilda; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; the Frontiers of the Roman Empire; Heart of Neolithic Orkney; and New Lanark.

The Scottish Government's third National Planning Framework, published in June 2014, recognises wild land as a "nationally important asset", indicating that Scotland's wildest landscapes merit strong protection. ‘Wildness’ in this context depends on four physical attributes, namely: the perceived naturalness of the land cover; the ruggedness of the terrain which is therefore difficult to cross; remoteness from public roads or ferries; and the visible lack of buildings, roads, pylons and other modern artefacts. Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot) published a new map of wild land areas in June 2014.

In addition to highly valued natural landscapes, the growth of Scotland’s industrial cities over the past 200 years has created valued and varied townscapes and cityscapes complemented by built heritage. Scotland has over 400 small towns that are a distinctive feature of the settlement pattern; they are the focus for many community activities and contain a significant proportion of Scotland's historic buildings and more than half of the total number of conservation areas. Scotland’s small towns are also an important element in Scotland's appeal to visitors and potential inward investors.

A regular visual survey of litter and flytipping in the landscape is provided by annual Keep Scotland Beautiful litter surveys. In the regional litter audits completed for the report by Keep Scotland Beautiful (2020), standards have been found to have dropped to their lowest ever recorded levels with only 16% of sites being recorded as litter free in 2020 compared to 31% in 2013, dog fouling is now reported to be found on 3% more streets than in 2013, and 39% of the public believe that the amount of flytipping has got worse over the lockdown period[174]. Overall, there has been a:

  • 48% reduction in the number of litter free sites;
  • 111% increase in significantly littered sites;
  • 28% decrease in the number of fines issued for litter;
  • 18% decrease in fines issued for dog fouling;
  • 33% increase in detritus on streets.

The report also found issues of significant littering at sites, (consistent or accumulating items that cause a visible negative perception of local environmental quality), which have more than doubled, from 3.7% in 2013 to 7.8% in 2020. Cigarette related litter continues to be the most commonly littered item, affecting around four out of five high public use areas audited, (retail and residential). Food and drink packaging make up a significant proportion of other litter items that affect street cleanliness in three quarters of high public use retail/residential areas audited.

9.2.2 Likely Evolution of the Baseline without the NLFS

As identified in the Baseline Characteristics for Material Assets (Section 8.2) perceived littering has increased since 2013, by site inspection data, whereas the number of reported flytipping incidents is in slight decline. However, this data is far from comprehensive. Furthermore, in a Keep Scotland Beautiful study[175], interviewees suggest that litter and flytipping has got continually worse since 2013.

As discussed in earlier sections, without the proposed measures in the National Litter and Flytipping strategy, it is expected that the levels of littering and flytipping are expected to continue, which a subsequent continuation of adverse effects on landscape and visual impacts.

9.3 Consideration of likely significant effects

9.3.1 Methodology

The new National Litter and Flytipping strategy has the potential to have a range of effects on Scottish landscapes and seascapes by preventing or limiting waste materials entering and affecting the environment. The assessment considers the anticipated effects of visual impacts through the implementation of the proposed actions to prevent litter and flytipping, developed across the four strategy themes: behaviour change; infrastructure and services; enforcement; and data and research.

Although the adverse impacts of litter and flytipping on landscapes and seascapes in Scotland may be similar it is recognised that litter and flytipping are distinct issues with different drivers and potentially different scales of visual impact, so the assessment provides separate appraisals of the actions proposed for the Litter strategy (Table 9-1) and the Flytipping strategy (Table 9-2). The SEA criteria for assessing the effects on landscape and visual impacts are listed at the start of each table. The effects against these criteria are considered against a baseline which is effectively a continuation of the existing National Litter Strategy.

9.3.2 Results

The tables below provide summary assessments of the likely significant environmental effects of implementing proposed actions to prevent litter and flytipping across the four strategy themes, with regard to landscape and visual impacts. Table 9-1 presents the results of the assessment of actions for Litter and Table 9-2 present the findings assessing the actions for the Flytipping.

The key to each assessment score is shown below:

Score Key:

++ Significant positive effect

+ Minor positive effect

0 No overall effect

- Minor negative effect

-- Significant negative effect

? Score uncertain

NB: Where a box is coloured but also contains a “?” this indicates uncertainty over whether the effect could be a minor or significant effect although a professional judgement is expressed in the colour used. A conclusion of uncertainty arises where there is insufficient evidence for expert judgement to conclude an effect.

Table 9-1 Assessment of Effects of Litter Actions on SEA Criteria for Landscape and Visual Impacts

Litter Strategy

Landscape and Visual Impacts

SEA Criteria:

  • To protect and, where appropriate, enhance the landscape/seascape.

Behaviour Change – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Conduct research to understand the full range of influences on littering behaviours across various contexts and audience groups.

Action Score: +/?

Develop a sustained, evidence based, national anti-littering campaign and deliver this consistently and collaboratively across Scotland.

Action Score: +

Commentary:

Research on the range of influences on littering behaviour are expected to provide an increased awareness of the reasons for littering, which may have a positive impact in terms of reducing the visual impact of litter in the environment. although the effectiveness of proposed action in preventing litter is uncertain at this stage. The development of a national campaign and collaborative approach to litter prevention and behaviour change across Scotland can engage many different organisations to cooperate on a campaign and to share ideas. This has been assessed as having a positive effect on landscape and visual impacts, particularly if the actions can be tailored to different landscape types (i.e. natural parks, seascapes, townscapes etc).

Services and Infrastructure – Actions

Overall Score: +

Explore the use of flexible and innovative interventions to support litter prevention and removal.

Action Score: +

Establish an action focused group to encourage collaboration and share best practice between local authorities, national parks and other duty bodies to optimise services

+

Create a national litter hub to provide information and advice to community groups.

+

Increase the use of citizen science to support data on levels and composition of litter.

+

Carry out a review of the development, implementation and progress of the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse (2018).

Action Score: ?

Commentary:

Exploring innovation and use of more flexible cleansing and litter and waste services, such as the design of on the go recycling bins, or infrastructure in place in national parks is assessed as having a positive impact on the landscape. Innovation looking to integrate these services or use of new technology to identify litter (e.g. drones GPS tagging/mapping litter) may improve the landscape and reduce the adverse visual impact of litter.

Increasing collaboration and information sharing is anticipated to have a positive impact effect on the landscape as it will allow for best practice sharing on how to tackle and prevent litter on the Scottish landscape.

Actions creating a national litter hub should enable local communities and all personnel involved in protecting the landscape from litter to have one single point of information for matters related to litter. A coordinated approach to communication is anticipated to have a positive effect on the landscape and visual impacts.

Citizen litter picker groups take pride in protecting their landscape. Using citizen science to collect data and information is anticipated to have a positive effect on landscape and visual impacts as it will ensure information gathered on the ground is communicated and accessible to relevant organisations. It is not clear whether a review of the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse (COPLAR) will result in any changes beyond those currently established for preventing and reducing the impacts of litter in the environment, so this is considered to be an uncertain effect for landscape and visual impacts.

Enforcement – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Conduct an evidence review of barriers to enforcement of litter offences.

Action Score: ++/?

Explore raising current fixed penalty notice amounts for a litter offence.

Action Score: +/?

Develop guidance on enforcement best practices and seek agreement for this to be voluntarily adopted by Local Authorities and National Parks.

Action Score: ++/?

Review current powers for enforcing littering offences.

Action Score: +/?

Explore potential alternative penalties to monetary fixed penalties for a litter offence.

Action Score: ?

Explore using civil penalties in relation to littering offences.

Action Score: ?

Create fixed penalties for the registered keeper of the vehicle for littering from vehicles.

Action Score: +/?

Commentary:

Evidence suggests that stringent enforcement measures will lead to less incidences of littering (see Table 4-3 for Biodiversity), so it is anticipated that actions exploring barriers to enforcement and the development of best practice for enforcement bodies, will help to reduce incidents of littering and therefore the visual impacts of litter, which is assessed as having the potential for significant positive effects for landscape, albeit recognising a degree of uncertainty associated with the voluntary adoption of the measures. Reviewing existing powers for enforcement is also considered to have the potential to deliver positive benefits for landscape and visual impacts, where it leads to more effective controls on littering.

As discussed in the assessment of Enforcement actions in relation to Biodiversity (see Table 4-3), the further raising of fixed penalties or introducing legislation to strengthen enforcement of litter from vehicles by issuing a fine to the registered keeper of the vehicle should help to deter littering, so this is considered to be a positive effect on landscape and visual impacts but with some uncertainty regarding effectiveness due to issues around implementation. It is considered that further detail is required regarding civil penalties and alternatives to financial penalties and the level of effectiveness before the significance of effects for landscape can be determined, so these are assessed to be uncertain impacts at this stage.

Data and Research – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Review the available litter data and approach to data collection across Scotland and reach an agreement between stakeholders on a common approach to collecting data.

Action Score: +/?

Identify commonly littered items and litter hotspots and work with Local Authorities and other duty bodies to develop targeted interventions to reduce litter.

Action Score: ++/?

Commentary:

Keep Scotland Beuatiful LEAMS data and Marine Conservation Society Beach clean-up data both provide data on visual litter arisings but a detailed study reporting quantifiable litter arisings was last conducted in 2013. A review of available litter data and approach to data collection would provide additional useful information to monitor progress on the effectiveness of litter prevention measures, which is considered to be beneficial to landscape and visual impacts.
Litter hotspots have significant negative impacts on the visual appearance of a landscape, therefore the identification of litter composition and litter hotspots contributing to a targeted response to tackle littering is assessed as having a significant positive impact to protect the landscape/seascape (noting that this has close links to the Infrastructure and Services strategy theme). For both of these actions some uncertainty on the significance of the effects is recorded, noting that the measures are dependent on agreement and practical implementation with the relevant stakeholders.

Table 9-2 Assessment of Effects of Flytipping Actions on SEA Criteria for Landscape and Visual Impacts

Flytipping Strategy

Landscape and Visual Impacts

SEA Criteria:

  • To protect and, where appropriate, enhance the landscape/seascape.

Behaviour Change – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Conduct research to understand the full range of influences on flytipping behaviour across various context and audience groups and use this to design effective responses.

Action Score: +/?

Develop a sustained, evidence based, national anti-flytipping campaign and deliver this consistently and collaboratively across Scotland.

Action Score: +

Develop social media campaigns and guidance targeted at waste carriers and other businesses.[176]

Action Score: +/?

Commentary:

Research into understanding influences on flytipping behaviour should help to support the development of measures that can prevent flytipping and so reduce subsequent impacts on the landscape. There is uncertainty though whether the proposed research would enhance the existing understanding of flytipping behaviour (e.g. Zero Waste Scotland, Evidence Review of Flytipping Behaviour, 2017).

The development of an anti-flytipping campaign across Scotland should help to reduce incidences of flytipping. There are case studies that demonstrate the success of well targeted campaigns[177], so reducing the numbers of flytipping in the environment through a national campaign should have a positive effect on landscape and visual impacts. The development of social media campaigns and guidance may help to raise awareness of the adverse visual impacts of flytipping, although waste carriers and businesses should already be aware of their responsibilities and the potential impacts of flytipping on the landscape, so there is considered to be some uncertainty regarding the level of behavioural change that would deliver positive effects.

Services and Infrastructure – Actions

Overall Score: +

Support and encourage information and resource sharing between Local Authorities, waste sector, SEPA and other organisations through the flytipping forum.

Action Score: +

Explore the role of technology in assisting private landowners and land managers deter flytipping on their land.

Action Score: +/?

Produce updated guidance for private landowners on dealing with flytipping.

Action Score: +

Explore alternative financial support mechanisms available to private landowners.

Action Score: +

Explore how to support and encourage more reuse and repair of products that are commonly flytipped.

Action Score: ++/?

Explore a flexible approach to waste disposal (such as mobile HWRCs and targeted amnesties), and targeted interventions, with a view to trial these.

Action Score: +

Carry out research to create a single information point on the disposal of commonly flytipped materials.

Action Score: +

Commentary:

Fytipping in the context of landscape and visual impacts is a challenge for local authorities and other organisations across Scotland. Increasing collaboration and information sharing is anticipated to have a positive effect on the landscape, as it will allow for best practice sharing on how to effectively manage flytipped material but may not prevent material being flytipped.

Private landowners in Scotland own around 57% of rural land[178], so actions exploring the use of technology to combat flytipping is expected to deliver a positive effect on landscape and visual impacts. However, the effectiveness and practicalities of implementing technological deterrents are still to be determined, so the significance of the impacts are uncertain.

The provision of further guidance to landowners on managing flytipping, may encourage landowners to be more proactive in addressing incidences of flytipping and the duration that waste is present in the landscape, although the action may not be effective at preventing flytipping. This is assessed to have a minor positive impact on landscape and visual impacts. Exploring alternative financial support mechanisms for private landowners in terms of services and infrastructure for dealing with flytipped material may encourage a quicker response to removing the waste, which limits the potential for adverse visual impacts.

Support in encouraging more reuse and repair of products is considered to have potential for significant positive effects, as this would prevent items being flytipped and so reduce the presence of flytipped material in the landscape. Further monitoring would be required though to confirm the effectiveness of the action. Exploring a more flexible approach to waste disposal and interventions to prevent flytipping, as well as creation of a single information point, are expected to help improve the management of flytipped material through the coordination of relevant services and visibility of information on flytipping. The actions may help prevent flytipping, so this is considered to be a positive impact for landscape and visual impacts.

Enforcement – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Conduct an evidence review of barriers to enforcement.

Action Score: +/?

Develop guidance on enforcement best practices, including on private land and seek for this to be voluntarily adopted by statutory bodies.

Action Score: +/?

Initially raise current fixed penalties issued by Police, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park for flytipping to the maximum (£500) and explore possibility of raising the maximum further at a later date.

Action Score: +/?

Explore raising current fixed penalties that can be issue by SEPA for flytipping offences to the maximum (£1000) and explore possibility of raising the maximum further at a later date.

Action Score: +/?

Review existing legislative powers for enforcing flytipping offences.

Action Score: +/?

Explore the ability to remove, suspend or deny Waste Carrier’s Registration to individuals/companies fined for flytipping.

Action Score: +/?

Support information sharing on flytipping incidents and offenders between Local Authorities, Police and National Parks.

Action Score: +

Create powers to enable seizure of vehicles by SEPA used in flytipping.

Action Score: +/?

Explore the possibility and benefits of using civil penalties to enforce flytipping offences.

Action Score: ?

Commentary:

There is limited evidence available to confirm the effectiveness of more stringent enforcement measures at preventing flytipping (see Table 4-3 for Biodiversity). It is understood though that the low probability of being caught for flytipping offences is a significant factor contributing to incidents of flytipping[179], therefore, the actions proposed for a review of enforcement measures (including barriers to enforcement, existing powers, guidance on best practice, removal of Waste Carrier Registrations, and seizure of vehicles), should improve understanding of what is effective in combating flytipping. These actions are not considered to be neutral, as a reduction in flytipping would have positive effects for landscape and visual impacts, however there is uncertainty on the effectiveness of the actions in preventing flytipping.
Sharing information on flytipping between Local Authorities, Police and National Parks may help to prevent flytipping incidents, which would be a positive effect for landscape and visual impacts.
As discussed previously there is research that questions the effectiveness of fines in preventing flytipping (see Table 4-4 for Biodiversity). It is considered that raising the maximum fixed penalty for flytipping offences should provide some level of deterrent to flytipping, with positive effects for landscape and visual impacts but the effectiveness of implementation is uncertain. Further details on the use civil penalties and their effectiveness are required before the effects can be determined, so this is considered to be an uncertain impact for landscape and visual impacts.

Data and Research – Actions

Overall Score: +/?

Create a data sharing agreement and work with Local Authorities, other duty bodies, National Parks, private landowners and land managers, businesses and the third sector to improve consistency of data collected in Scotland.

Action Score: +

Explore and seek to support the use of appropriate technology in data collection.

Action Score: +/?

Work with stakeholders to improve consistency of data collection in Scotland.

Action Score: +

Explore incorporating data into a national database.

Action Score: +/?

Review the Dumb Dumpers system and ensure that a fit for purpose mechanism for citizen reporting of flytipping exists in Scotland.

Action Score: +/?

Explore the development of a live picture of flytipping across Scotland.

Action Score: +/?

Commentary:
Improved data sharing between SEPA, Police, Local Authorities and other statutory bodies would allow for better collection and interpretation of data and monitor its impact on the visual impacts of flytipping.
Exploration of technology to streamline and facilitate the reporting of data may improve reporting by local authorities and landowners though it is not certain how this would be implemented or received.

Differences in reporting techniques between authorities means data is often incomplete and complicates interpretation of data. Therefore, a more consistent approach is expected would have some positive effects with regard to combating flytipping in the landscape/seascape.

National fly-tipping databases (FlyCapture and WasteDataFlow) are currently in use. However, they have not been adopted universally by authorities and is therefore not comprehensive. However, differences in reporting techniques between authorities means data is often incomplete and complicates interpretation of data. Improving the use of the Dumb Dumpers reporting platform may not prevent flytipping incidents but could improve responses for removal and onward management, which may have positive effects for landscape and visual impacts. More frequent and localised data would aid monitoring and identify areas of concern. ‘Live’ reporting of data could improve the visual impact of flytipping by encouraging more rapid clean-up response by local authorities. However, it may prove complex to implement and limited in terms of positive effects for landscape and visual impacts.

9.4 Mitigation and Enhancement

The following measures are suggested to enhance the proposals in the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy, with respect to landscape and visual impacts:

  • Campaigns aimed at behavioural change should ensure the inputs from all relevant stakeholders, including those involved in preserving the landscape (e.g. park rangers and street cleaners), and enforcement authorities as they may sometimes be side-lined.
  • The method for the collection of information from citizen science should be clearly established and straightforward to encourage participation.
  • As with the suggested measure for biodiversity, ensure that services and infrastructure are optimised for particularly sensitive landscapes, e.g. through the provision and design of recycling facilities or enabling a rapid response to clear-up of flytipping incidents.

Please also refer to Section 4.4 Mitigation and Enhancement for the Biodiversity topic for a list of recommendations supporting the wider aims to prevent or improve management of litter and flytipped materials, which are considered to be common to each environmental topic.


Contact

Email: NLFS@gov.scot