National litter and flytipping consultation: strategic environmental assessment

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

11. Assessment Conclusions and Recommendations

This section outlines the headline findings of the strategic environmental assessment. It summarises the anticipated environmental effects of the proposals in the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy before recommending proposals for monitoring the impact of the proposed changes.

The next stage will involve the launch of a public consultation on proposals. This section concludes by providing information to the public on how to share their thoughts and views on the proposals in the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy.

11.1 What are the environmental effects of the proposed NLFS?

Subject to the practical implementation of what are recognised to be high level aims, objectives and actions for preventing litter and flytipping, the proposals in the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy have the potential to produce positive environmental effects across all impact categories assessed:

  • biodiversity, flora and fauna;
  • human health;
  • water;
  • climatic factors;
  • material assets; and
  • landscape and visual impacts.

It is anticipated that the strategy proposals will assist in preventing the presence of litter and flytipped material, thus helping to break the link between the adverse effects of these wastes on each of the environmental topics. Where incidents of litter and flytipping do occur the proposals are also expected to limit the duration that uncontrolled waste is present in the environment and improve the onward management of these materials, which is considered to be particularly beneficial to material assets and may also support a reduction in carbon emissions.

The following potential measures are recommended to support and enhance the wider aims to prevent or improve management of litter and flytipped materials:

  • Improved consistency in data collection between duty bodies should be encouraged and informed through guidance. Data reporting should be made clear and simple to users to maximise reporting rates.
  • Improving shared access to information on enforcement and prosecutions for littering and flytipping may assist in deterring repeat offenders who might cross local boundaries. Enforcement levels could also be analysed against flytipping levels per local authorities/relevant organisations to find gaps or shortcomings.
  • Whilst incorporating information on flytipping into a national database would be beneficial, efforts must be made to ensure that reporting is consistent and comprehensive. This has not been the case for Waste Data Flow where mandatory data reporting has been inconsistent and incomplete.
  • Consider the use of technology to streamline and facilitate the reporting of data on litter and flytipping to determine how it can improve reporting by local authorities and landowners.
  • Consider increasing the prominence of enforcement in nudging behavioural change, such as emphasising the consequences of failing to pay a fixed penalty notice and the level of potential fines associated with prosecution (i.e. up to £2,500 for littering and up to £40,000 for flytipping).
  • Provide reminders on the availability of waste recycling facilities, including the option that using recycling facilities at home may provide better outcomes for waste material rather than littering.

11.2 Proposals for Monitoring

Section 19 of the Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 requires the Responsible Authority to monitor significant environmental effects of the implementation of the Plan. The Responsible Authority will be the Scottish Government.

The SEA Screening and Scoping Report for the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy, identified the need, where possible, to make use of existing data sources and indicators to minimise requirements for additional data collection. The SEA Screening and Scoping Report also identified that the proposals have the potential to achieve the following aspects, which may support the measures to monitor the effectiveness of the strategy implementation:

  • reduce the volume of waste created;
  • increase the volume of materials entering recycling;
  • divert materials from landfill;
  • reduce the amount of waste entering Scotland’s rivers, lochs and seas;
  • improve local environments and neighbourhoods;
  • encourage wider behaviour change around materials.

In order to ensure the intended benefits of the proposals in the new National Litter and Flytipping strategy are being realised, the following monitoring framework is proposed:

  • Scotland‘s performance against the waste hierarchy is reported annually, and improvements in reducing landfill waste and increasing utilisation of waste are regularly monitored and reported. This could be used to evaluate the level of litter and flytipping that has been prevented or the quantity of these materials diverted from landfill in to recycling routes.
  • Zero Waste Scotland periodically conducts waste studies to determine the composition of Scotland’s waste. Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government are considering the timing and scope of these studies to support effective monitoring of the proposed measures and ensure the strategy aims are being achieved.
  • Litter and beach clean-up data collected in Scotland by organisations like Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society can be used to monitor changes in observable litter following implementation of the proposals to prevent litter and flytipping.
  • WasteDataFlow (WDF) and FlyMapper are national databases that include information on incidents and composition of flytipping. WDF is a mandatory reporting requirement for local authorities. Dumb Dumpers is an additional platform available for members of the public to report incidents of flytipping to Zero Waste Scotland[181]. These could be used to monitor any changes brought about by implementation of the proposals for flytipping. However, the Flymapper system has not been adopted universally by authorities and differences in reporting of incidents for both FlyMapper and WDF means that data can be incomplete, which complicates interpretation of the information. Proposals in the strategy to improve the consistency of reporting should provide the basis for ensuring that these databases can be used as suitable tools to monitor the effectiveness of other proposals in the strategy to prevent flytipping.
  • Records of enforcement notices, including issuing of fixed penalty fines and prosecutions for littering and flytipping, may be used to monitor the effectiveness of the proposals for enforcement, which would improve the current understanding of what works at what doesn’t and how to make best use of legislative powers.

The combination of above datasets, along with increased sharing of information and consistency of reporting, will help determine whether there has been an improvement in the prevention of litter and flytipping entering the environment, and facilitate the implementation and monitoring of effective policy interventions.

11.3 Next Steps

Public views are now sought on the proposals for the prevention of litter and flytipping in this Environmental Report. We would welcome your views on any aspect of this Environmental Report. We are particularly interested to receive your response to the following questions:

1. a) Do you agree that the Environmental Report sets out a reasonable description of the current baseline and the business as usual scenario for littering and for flytipping?

b) Are there any additional sources that should be considered for the baseline analysis?

2. a) Do you agree that the Environmental Report has correctly identified the likely significant effects of the proposals to prevent and improve management of littering and flytipping in Scotland?

b) If relevant, please indicate the basis for any alternative significant effects.

3. a) Do you agree with the recommendations for mitigation and enhancement of the environmental effects set out in the Environmental Report?

b) Please indicate any alternative recommendations you would suggest, and why?

4. a) Do you agree with the proposed arrangements for monitoring the significant effects of the proposals in the National Litter and Flytipping strategy?

b) Please indicate any further measures for monitoring you would propose.

The consultation runs until 31 March 2022. Comments on the proposals in new National Litter and Flytipping strategy and the Environmental Report can be submitted online on at

Following the conclusion of the consultation period, the responses received will be analysed and reported. Key messages from respondents, including those of the various stakeholder groups, will be highlighted and the findings of the analysis will be taken into account in the adoption of the proposals in new National Litter and Flytipping strategy.

Upon implementation of any of the proposals to prevent littering and flytipping, a Post-Adoption Statement will be prepared. This Statement will reflect on the findings of the SEA assessment and the views expressed in the consultation, and outline how the issues raised have been considered in the finalisation of the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy.



Back to top