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
7. Climatic factors

7. Climatic factors

For the purposes of this assessment, climatic factors are concerned with increasing the likelihood of climate change effects through greenhouse gas emissions, and the ability to adapt to the effects of climate change such as the occurrence of more extreme weather events. The Carbon Impacts of the Circular Economy (2015)[115] states that over two thirds of Scotland’s’ carbon footprint is directly related to material consumption and waste.

The contribution of a National Litter and Flytipping Strategy to Scotland’s carbon targets are clear; reducing materials being wasted will reduce the loss of valuable materials and resources, and thus reduce consumption levels of virgin materials and the carbon emissions associated with the extraction, processing, transport, use and disposal of the resultant products. The new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy will also impact on reducing emissions from the waste operations in Scotland, specifically transport emission linked to collecting litter and flytipped materials.

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 proposals for the prevention of litter and flytipping, regarding climatic factors.

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

The PPS that are relevant to the climatic factors topic and against which the proposals for the prevention of litter and flytipping have been reviewed are shown in Figure 7-1 and summarised thereafter.

Figure 7-1 Plans, Policies and Strategies related to Climate Factors

Plans, Policies and Strategies (PPS)

International PPS

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • UNFCC Kyoto Protocol
  • UNFCC Paris Agreement

European PPS

  • EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy
  • EU Single Use Plastics Directive
  • EU Emissions Trading System

UK PPS

  • Climate Change Act
  • UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS)

Scottish PPS

  • The Scottish Government Programme for Scotland
  • The Climate Change (Scotland) Act
  • Scottish Energy Strategy
  • Climate Change Plan: The Third Report on Proposals and Policies 2018-2032
  • Cleaner Air for Scotland: The Road to a Healthier Future
  • Scottish National Planning Framework 3
  • Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act
  • Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020 (DRS Regulations)

7.1.1 International Level

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sets an overall framework for international action to tackle the challenges posed by climate change. The Convention sets an ultimate objective of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate scheme.” The Convention requires the development and regular update of greenhouse gas emissions inventories from industrialised countries, with developing countries also being encouraged to carry out inventories. The countries who have ratified the Treaty, known as the Parties to the Convention, agree to take climate change into account in such matters as agriculture, industry, energy, natural resources and where activities involve coastal regions. The Parties also agree to develop national programmes to slow climate change. The two main agreements resulting from the UNFCCC to date are the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015).

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was adopted on 11 December 1997 to establish an international mechanism to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions and in consequence set binding emissions reduction targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European Community. These targets equated to an average of 5% reductions relative to 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-12. The key distinction between this and the UNFCCC is that the Convention encourages nations to stabilise greenhouse gases while the Kyoto Protocol committed them to doing so through greenhouse gas reductions. It included three market-based mechanisms to meet these targets: emissions trading; the clean development mechanism (CDM); and Joint Implementation (JI).

The Paris Agreement was adopted by those parties attending COP-21 in December 2015. It was signed by 195 UNFCCC members and at the time of writing has been ratified by 170 of these. Its aim is to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. It discusses the importance of limiting emissions from waste management. The main climate change mitigation delivery mechanism is the submission of five year Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by all signatories with a steadily increasing ambition in the long term.

7.1.2 European Level

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is a Europe wide scheme that was introduced in 2005. EU ETS puts a price on carbon that businesses use and creates a market for carbon. It allows countries that have emission units to spare (emissions permitted to them but not "used") to sell this excess capacity to countries which are likely to exceed their own targets. A single EU-wide cap on emission allowances applied from 2013 and will be cut annually, reducing the number of allowances available to businesses to 21% below the 2005 level in 2020. The free allocation of allowances will be progressively replaced by auctioning, and the sectors and gases covered by the scheme will be expanded.

European Union (2018): The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy details an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. The Action Plan includes a suite of programmes seeking to embed improved practices across the life cycle of products; from cradle to grave. The wider benefits of adopting a circular economy contribute to helping tackle climate change and lower current GHG emissions levels. The revised legislative proposalson waste set clear targets for waste reductions. Key elements of the revised waste proposal include:

  • A common EU target for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030;
  • A common EU target for recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030;
  • A binding landfill target to reduce landfill to maximum of 10% of municipal waste by 2030;
  • A ban on landfilling of separately collected waste; and
  • Promotion of economic instruments to discourage landfilling.

The plan sets out the context in which the new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy may have an influence and an impact in reducing the levels of lost material resource.

European Union (2019): Single Use Plastics Directive. The Directive highlights the significant negative environmental, health and economic impact of certain plastic products with a particular focus on single-use plastic items. the Directive builds upon the European Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy through a specific legal framework which aims to increase the level of ambition demonstrated through national measures to prevent and reduce litter with specific reference to single-use plastics. The Directive highlights the link between single-use plastic items and litter in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and microplastic pollution, and draws attention to the significant negative environmental, health and economic impact of littered products and associated deleterious materials. Restricting the prevalence of plastics in litter and flytipped materials in Scotland could improve the use of resources and reduce emissions associated with transportation for clean-up of litter and flytipping.

7.1.3 UK level

The Climate Change Act (2008) is the basis for the UK’s approach to Climate Change. Through the Climate Change Act, the UK government has set a target to significantly reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Act also established the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to ensure that emissions targets are evidence-based and independently assessed. In addition, the Act requires the Government to assess the risks and opportunities from climate change for the UK, and to adapt to them. The CCC’s Adaptation Committee advises on these climate change risks and assesses progress towards tackling them.

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS on 1 January 2021. The four governments of the UK have established the scheme to increase the climate ambition of the UK’s carbon pricing policy, while protecting the competitiveness of UK businesses. The UK was instrumental in developing the EU ETS and the introduction of a UK scheme provides continuity of emissions trading for UK businesses. Emissions trading schemes work on the ‘cap and trade’ principle, where a cap is set on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by sectors covered by the scheme; the cap is reduced over time, so that total emissions must fall. This limits the total amount of carbon that can be emitted and, as it decreases over time is intended to make a significant contribution to how the UK meets its Net Zero 2050 target and other legally binding carbon reduction commitments.

7.1.4 Scottish level

The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 sets the statutory framework for GHG emissions reductions in Scotland, with targets for reductions by 80% in 2050, with an interim 2020 target of 42%. These targets are more ambitious than those for the UK as a whole, and the EU. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 and sets targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions towards a legally binding net-zero carbon target by 2045. This Act represents Scotland’s contribution to the worldwide effort to deliver on the Paris Agreement that was reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Scottish Government (2014): The Scottish National Planning Framework (NPF) 3 provides the spatial expression of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy, and the plans for development and investment in infrastructure. The NPF identifies national developments and other strategically important development opportunities in Scotland. The framework recognises that the design of places can minimise waste whilst instilling responsible behaviours in providing waste infrastructure for public use. Planning will play a key role in delivering on the commitments for Scotland to be a low carbon place and the priorities identified in the NPF set a clear direction of travel which is consistent with their climate change legislation.

Scottish Government (2018): The Climate Change Plan: The Third Report in Proposals and Policies 2018-2032 is the third Report on Proposals and Policies (RPP) to be produced by Scottish Government. It sets out details of the approach to cutting emissions up to 2032, including 100 new policies and proposals across all sectors, as well as the ambition of over 40 existing policies scaled up. It states targets to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025, reduce waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025, and establish a more circular economy, where goods and materials are kept in use for longer and where the value of resources is preserved and maintained for as long as possible. Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 – update (2020): provides an update to the 2018 Climate Change Plan, including a new ambitious target to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change by 2045. Scottish Government has committed to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 (compared with 1990) and to net zero by 2045. The Plan sets out an approach to delivering a green recovery following COVID-19 and sets out a pathway to deliver world leading climate change targets. In line with the 2018 plan, the focus is on the period up to 2032.

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 through a reduction in use of virgin materials (specifically fossil fuels used for plastic container production), forming part of the Scottish Government’s response to the global climate emergency. The DRS addresses common single-use packaging used for drinks containers. 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[116].

Scottish Government: Protecting Scotland, Renewing Scotland: The Scottish Government Programme for Scotland 2020-2021 states the Government’s commitment to tackle climate change and to prepare Scotland for the new, low carbon world and reach the statutory commitment to be a net zero society by 2045. This Programme sets out the next phase of the Green New Deal announced in 2019.

Cleaner Air for Scotland: The Road to a Healthier Future (2015) sets out the Scottish Government and its partner organisations aim to achieve further reduction in air pollution in Scotland. As Scotland reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases the provision of renewable energy, this will provide co-benefits for air quality. Commitments to decarbonise the Scottish economy, including the waste management sector will help reduce air pollution, but choices on how this will be achieved will influence the scale of additional improvements for air quality.

The Scottish Energy Strategy (2017) sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy scheme in Scotland. The Strategy describes how the Scottish Government will strengthen the development of local energy, protect and empower consumers, and support Scotland’s climate change ambitions while tackling poor energy provision. In order to achieve Scottish Government climate goals, progress is needed to decarbonise electricity production and heat across all sectors, as well as transport.

Local Authority Climate Change or Sustainability Strategies

Many Scottish Local Authorities have developed a range of local, tailored climate change or sustainability strategies which set out the Authority’s ambitions to reduce the impact of climate. Many incorporate more effective resource management including; reducing waste going to landfill, increasing recycling and increasing public awareness of the contribution that waste makes to climate change.

7.2 Baseline Characteristics

7.2.1 Current Carbon Emissions Relevant to the NLFS

The significant climate change impacts of material consumption and waste, along with the critical mitigating impact of resource efficient, circular economy policies have been firmly established in academic literature. Zero Waste Scotland’s report The Carbon Impacts of the Circular Economy (2015)[117] estimates that over two thirds of Scotland’s carbon footprint are directly related to material consumption and, to a lesser extent, waste.

The latest Scottish Greenhouse Gas statistics available for the period 1990-2019[118], shows that overall greenhouse gas emissions for Scotland have reduced to 47.8 MtCO2e in 2019, a 43.8% reduction from 1990 levels. The greenhouse gas emissions from waste management accounted for only 3% of Scotland’s total emissions in 2019, following a sharp reduction since 1990 (when they were 7.5% of Scottish emissions). In 2019, emissions from waste in Scotland decreased to 1.5 MtCO2e, a reduction of 4.3 MtCO2e (73.5%) compared to 1990 levels, although it is noted in the statistical reporting that emissions from waste management have been relatively static over recent years. This decrease is reported to be largely due to the progressive introduction of methane capture and oxidation systems within landfill management.

Based on the estimate of tonnages of littered and flytipped material available for 2013, indicative carbon emissions from landfilling of these wastes is 4,340 tonnes of CO2e for litter (Table 7-1) and 10,776 tonnes of CO2e for flytipping (Table 7-2), which in total amounts to 1% of the 2019 emissions reported for waste management.

Table 7-1 Estimated carbon emissions from landfilling or recycling of litter
Litter Category Tonnes[119] Carbon Factor Landfilling[120] (kgCO2e/tonne) Estimated Emissions: Landfillinga (kgCO2e) Carbon Factor Recycling[121] (kgCO2e/tonne) Estimated Emissions: Recyclingb (kgCO2e)
Food/kitchen waste 2,250 989 2,224,535 -18 -40,680
Other combustible items 1,650 8 13,992 0 0
Cardboard 1,350 499 674,096 -547 -737,852
Newspapers & magazines 1,350 499 674,096 -547 -737,852
Packaging glass 1,350 4 5,808 -755 -1,019,200
Plastic bottles 1,350 4 5,803 -537 -725,434
Other materials 1,200 107 128,400 -1,212 -1,454,861
Other paper 1,200 499 599,196 -547 -655,869
Plastic film 1,050 4 4,513 -537 -564,226
Metal cans 600 4 2,581 -2,540 -1,524,048
Other plastic packaging 600 4 2,579 -537 -322,415
Other metal 450 4 1,936 -2,540 -1,143,036
Waste Electricals 600 4 2,578 -181 -108,315
Total 15,000 4,340,114 -9,033,788

a Assumes all of material in each category is landfilled

b Assumes all of material in each category can be recycled

Table 7-2 Estimated carbon emissions from landfilling or recycling of flytipped materials
Flytipping Category Tonnes[122] Carbon Fa,/ctor Landfilling[123] (kgCO2e/tonne) Estimated Emissions: Landfillinga (kgCO2e) Carbon Factor Recycling[124] (kgCO2e/tonne) Estimated Emissions: Recyclingb (kgCO2e)
General household waste 4,000 452 1,807,390 -653 -2,613,879
Building waste 3,000 3 7,632 2 6,630
Sofa/Armchairs etc 3,000 571 1,711,954 -5,828 -17,484,103
Wooden Furniture 3,000 861 2,583,024 -288 -863,926
Carpets/Rugs 3,000 571 1,711,954 -5,828 -17,484,103
White Goods 3,000 4 12,000 -181 -541,575
Matresses 3,000 571 1,711,954 -5,828 -17,484,103
Clothes 2,000 571 1,141,303 -5,828 -11,656,068
Small WEEE 2,000 4 8,000 -181 -361,050
Other (not specified) 756 107 80,892 -1,212 -916,562
Total 26,756 10,776,104 -68,482,175

a Assumes all of material in each category is landfilled

b Assumes all of material in each category can be recycled

The tables also present an estimate of the potential reduction in emissions that may be gained from recycling the equivalent quantities of littered and flytipped materials, which is discussed further in section 7.2.2 below.

7.2.2 Likely Evolution of the Baseline without the NLFS

Climate Change

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment[125] (CCRA) predicts more frequent flooding arising from more frequent and intense rainfall and an increase in drought incidents during drier summers in the UK. Flooding and coastal change risks pose the highest risk to the UK. Associated risks include risks to habitats and species, risks to soils and risks to agriculture and wildlife.

While the extent of the effects of a changing climate is expected to vary by location, there is significant evidence to support the belief that significant changes in precipitation, snowfall, seasonality, cloud cover, humidity, wind speeds, soil moisture, rising sea levels and extreme weather may occur[126]. Scotland is expected to experience more extreme weather events such as more extended hot periods, increases in maximum temperatures nationwide, and fewer days of snow and frost. Longer periods of dry weather in the summer are expected and the wettest days of the year are likely to be considerably wetter than those at present[127].

Clear links between a changing climate and impacts on the natural environmental and natural resources have been identified and documented. For example, potential effects on biodiversity, flora and fauna, water, air and soil quality are often cited. Alongside this, there is the potential for indirect or secondary effects on other environmental receptors and on communities, businesses and industry. For example, the potential for impacts on water quality from increased flood potential, and the potential for increased pressures on biodiversity through predicted increases in temperature.

According to UKCP18[128], in a high emissions scenario Scotland in the 2070s can expect to become:

  • 40% drier to 8% wetter in the summer;
  • 3% drier to 12% wetter in the winter;
  • 0.6 °C warmer to 4.8 °C warmer in the summer;
  • 0.6 °C warmer to 4.5 °C warmer in the winter.

Whilst in a low emissions scenario, UKCP18 projects the following changes to Scotland’s climate:

  • 30% drier to 6% wetter in the summer;
  • 4% drier to 9% wetter in the winter;
  • -0.1 °C cooler to 2.8°C warmer in the summer;
  • -0.3°C cooler to 2.7°C warmer in the winter.
Carbon

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 New Climate Change Bill sets interim reduction targets[129] for greenhouse gases of:

  • 2020 is at least 56% lower than the baseline;
  • 2030 is at least 75% lower than the baseline;
  • 2040 is at least 90% lower than the baseline; and
  • achieving net zero by 2045.

Scotland aims to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025, and by 2035, aims to deliver substantial emission reductions through a circular economy approach in the business and industry sectors[130]. Under a business as usual scenario litter rates will remain unchanged, but litter incidences will likely rise due to the region’s growing population. This will result in the loss of valuable resources that could otherwise have been recycled resulting in loss of emission saving opportunities. Indeed, it is estimated that over 80% of the litter stream consists of potentially recyclable material and 50% of this material can be easily recyclable[131]. Based on the indicative emissions from landfilling of littered and flytipped material (Tables 7-1 and 7-2), at the higher 80% recycling availability rate an estimated 62,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be avoided, or around 38,000 tonnes at the lower 50% availability rate (assuming the quantities and composition of material considered are largely similar, emission factors do not change, and that in total some 77,516 tonnes of CO2e could be avoided if all litter and flytipped material recycled).

If not recycled, 100% of currently littered items will go to incineration from 2021 onwards based on the planned 2021 ban on all biodegradable municipal solid waste (Bio-MS) to landfill and the 2025 target of a maximum of only 5% of waste to landfill. As a result, it is projected that waste sector emissions will fall 52% over the lifetime of the 2018 Climate Change Plan[132] as emissions from energy from waste plants are attributed instead to the energy sector.

7.3 Consideration of likely significant effects

7.3.1 Methodology

The new National Litter and Flytipping strategy has the potential to have a range of effects on the climate by preventing or limiting waste materials entering and affecting the environment. The assessment considers the anticipated effects on the climate 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 the climate may be similar it is recognised that litter and flytipping are distinct issues with different drivers, so the assessment provides separate appraisals of the actions proposed for the Litter strategy (Table 7-3) and the Flytipping strategy (Table 7-4). The SEA criteria for assessing the effects on climatic factors 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.

7.3.2 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 climatic factors. Table 7-3 presents the results of the assessment of actions for Litter and Table 7-4 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 7-3 Assessment of Effects of Litter Actions on SEA Criteria for Climatic Factors

Litter Strategy

Climatic Factors

SEA Criteria:

  • To prevent any increase in net carbon impacts and to contribute to Scotland’s journey to meet the 2045 net zero commitment.

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: Actions relating to additional research into influences on littering behaviour and a national campaign are expected to provide an increased awareness of the reasons and adverse effects of littering, which may indirectly help to communicate the impact of dealing with litter waste on carbon emissions. This may have some positive effects in terms of achieving Scotland’s net zero commitment, although the significance of the link is not certain.

Services and Infrastructure – Actions

Overall Score: +

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

Action Score: 0/?

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

Action Score: +

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

Action Score: +

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

Action Score: +

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 flexibility in the use of litter and waste services may reduce carbon emissions through more effective management of littered material but also has the potential to increase emissions through the adoption of additional waste vehicle collection routes and manufacture of equipment. On balance this is considered to be a neutral impact in terms of Scotland’s zero carbon commitment, with some level of uncertainty, which would benefit from further assessment of the carbon emissions and savings associated with potential changes to infrastructure and services.

Actions targeting collaboration and information sharing are anticipated to reduce carbon impacts and to contribute to Scotland’s net zero commitment because they will allow efficient use of data and information by local authorities and other organisation without repeating efforts at a national scale.

Actions creating a national litter hub and the use of citizen science are expected to provide a positive effect on the Climatic Factors SEA criteria, as these should enhance management of litter waste, including re-use options and improve the accuracy and reliability of data used to measure carbon emissions. It 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 have an uncertain effect for climatic factors at this stage.

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

Improved enforcement of anti-littering legislation is expected to reduce incidences of littering and recycling rates for previously littered items, which should have some positive effects in reducing carbon emissions, although there is uncertainty regarding the extent to which measures would be adopted.

As discussed in the assessment of Enforcement actions in relation to Biodiversity (see Table 4-3), the 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 and the associated carbon emissions, although the level of significance is uncertain. It is considered that there is insufficient information to determine whether civil penalties and alternatives to financial penalties would be effective at preventing littering and reducing carbon emissions.

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:

The last study to accurately estimate Scottish litter arisings was conducted in 2013. A review of available data and the approach to data collection should help to establish current levels of littering, which would provide a valuable baseline against which wider carbon metrics can be based and allow for more accurate evaluation of the carbon impact of littering, although the level of significance is uncertain. The identification of littered items and hotspots is considered to have an uncertain impact on climatic factors, as the action could help to reduce carbon emissions through avoiding loss of resources but the response to tackle litter hotspots may involve additional collection and vehicle transportation, which may negate the carbon reduction benefit (noting that this is closely linked to the Infrastructure and Services strategy theme).

Table 7-4 Assessment of Effects of Flytipping Actions on SEA Criteria for Climatic Factors

Flytipping Strategy

Climatic Factors

SEA Criteria:

  • To prevent any increase in net carbon impacts and to contribute to Scotland’s journey to meet the 2045 net zero commitment.

Overall Score: +/?

Behaviour Change – Actions

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: 0/?

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.

Action Score: ?

Commentary:

Research into understanding influences on flytipping behaviour should help to support the development of measures that can prevent flytipping, but it is less clear how effective the responses would be in preventing an increase in carbon emissions, so this is assed to be an uncertain neutral impact at this stage.

The development of a national anti-flytipping campaign is anticipated to reduce incidents of flytipping, which would be a subsequent benefit to Scotland’s net zero commitment by reducing waste material loss and transport emissions. Factors such as a lack of perceived waste recycling or management facilities might be addressed in a public campaign. The development of social media campaigns and guidance may help to raise awareness of the adverse effects of flytipping and the associated adverse impacts on climate change, although the level of positive effect is uncertain as waste carriers and businesses should already be aware of their responsibilities and the potential impacts of flytipping in the environment.

Overall Score: +

Services and Infrastructure – Actions

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:

Actions encouraging information and resource sharing between organisations to create a joined up approach to flytipping across Scotland is anticipated to have a significant benefit in reducing carbon emissions, particularly where it reduces duplication of services or allows for potential crossover of vehicles collecting flytipped material, thus avoiding transport emissions.

Exploring the role of technology for landowners to deter flytipping could be beneficial in reducing carbon emissions from the use of raw materials and transport collections. 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, should help to either deter flytipping or improve the management of flytipped material, which is deemed to have some positive impacts on climatic factors. Exploring alternative financial support mechanisms for private landowners in terms of services and infrastructure for dealing with flytipped material may encourage the use of management options that recycle and extend the life of material resources, which is considered to have some potential for a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions.

Support in encouraging more reuse and repair of products is considered to have potential for significant positive effects for the SEA Climatic Factor criteria, as this would prevent items being flytipped and so reduce the requirement for transportation of flytipped materials and reduce the extraction of raw materials. Further monitoring would be required though to confirm the effectiveness of the action. The actions to explore 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 could prevent flytipping, which may help to reduce carbon emissions from waste management.

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). 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, although the level of significance with regard to reducing carbon emissions is uncertain.

Sharing information on flytipping between Local Authorities, Police and National Parks should improve the opportunities for managing flytipped material and help to prevent flytipping incidents, which may reduce associated transport emissions. This is assessed as a positive effect but with uncertainty regarding significance with regard to Scotland’s net zero commitment.

As discussed previously, it is considered that an increase in fines for flytipping offences should provide some form of deterrent and subsequent positive effects for reducing carbon emissions, although the level of significance is uncertain at this stage (see Table 4-4 for Biodiversity). The possibility of using of civil penalties to enforce flytipping offences may help to deter flytipping, however, further details are required before the effect can be determined.

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: 0/?

Commentary:

The last study to accurately estimate Scottish fly-tipping arisings was conducted in 2013. Improved data sharing and consistency in data collection between duty bodies would improve the quality of collected data and allow for more reliable assessment of carbon emissions associated with flytipping.

Exploration of technology to streamline and facilitate the reporting of data may improve reporting rates by local authorities and landowners, including measures or carbon metrics, though it is not certain how this would be implemented or received by users.

There is a wider benefit to implementing an improved national database and improved citizen reporting, which could be applied to monitoring climatic impacts, although the level of significance is uncertain. ‘Live’ reporting of data may prove complex to implement and provide limited benefits in terms of monitoring the effects of the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy on climatic factors. However, if the complexities can be overcome there is potential for the reporting to incorporate ‘real-time’ carbon data, which may improve the relevance to supporting Scotland’s net zero commitment.

7.4 Mitigation and Enhancement

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

  • The development of best practice guidelines and sharing of resources should offer solutions on how to limit or avoid carbon emissions associated with services and infrastructure. For example, the award of tenders for services to clear flytipping incidents should consider the locality of services providers and management facilities, taking into account carbon emissions in the operation of service contracts.
  • Infrastructure used for the management of litter and flytipped material should prioritise low carbon design, including first and foremost a ‘re-use not replace’ approach; where possible any required infrastructure should seek to utilise existing facilities as opposed constructing new facilities.
  • Review and promote the options for recycling of commonly flytipped materials to support waste handlers in the onward recovery of recyclable material once items are collected to avoid emissions associated with landfill or incineration.
  • More frequent studies into littering and flytipping arisings would improve accuracy of climatic factor monitoring rather than just establishing a baseline.
  • Improvements in technology to measure carbon and other climatic indicators could improve data collection and monitoring quality, particularly if this can be linked to a robust system for live reporting on 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