Flingin’s mingin – National Week of Action aims to tackle road litter

More than forty organisations across Scotland have lent their support to a clamp down on litter on Scotland’s roads as part of Litter Week of Action.

20 Aug 13

The Week, which is organised by Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of the Transport Litter Group – sixteen key Scottish public and private transport organisations and partners wanting to tackle litter – takes place this week, 19 – 25 August and sees dedicated action to tackle litter on Scotland’s roads and railways.

Edinburgh-based Rabbie’s Trail Burners, who organise multi-award winning small group tours of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, is one of 30 additional organisations inspired to come on board and take action this week. Rabbie’s is arming their drivers with rubbish bags and gloves to carry out litter picks and will be spreading the word as they go on their tour journeys.

A recent litter audit has revealed that an average of seven bottles and cans can be found on every 100 metres of Scotland’s roads, creating a hazard to road users and wildlife, and costing millions to remove.

Actions throughout the week include litter picks, issuing fines for littering, station announcements and road sign messages.  A wide range of organisations from across the sector will be taking part, including Transport Scotland, McDonald’s, Visit Scotland and First ScotRail.

The week of action coincides with the open consultation on the Scottish Government’s National Litter Strategy – the first since devolution “Towards a Litter Free Scotland” which runs until 27 September.

Frazer Scott, Head of Litter Prevention, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“2014 is set to be an important year for Scotland, with events including the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Homecoming, and as such it’s vital that we take steps to rid the country of its litter problem and make sure it can be enjoyed at its absolute best.

“Litter on the road and on the transport network doesn’t just look bad, it’s a waste of valuable resources.  Items like empty drinks bottles and cans could be recycled and help to boost the economy.

“It’s great to see so many organisations getting behind the Week, and I would urge everyone to get involved and help to spread the message that throwing litter from vehicles or public transport is not acceptable.”

Hazel Rickett, Managing Director, Rabbie’s said:

“Litter on our roads is a real blight on Scotland’s beautiful landscape, and we’re delighted to be involved in this week of action to tackle it.

“Our driver-guides are ashamed when they see litter around our country, we carry bags and gloves on our mini-coaches and our guides regularly stop to collect rubbish by the road on our tours. However this week we’ll be making an extra effort to clean up our roads, and to spread the message that action must be taken.”

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“It is shocking that on average there are four plastic bottles and three drinks cans littered on every 100 metres of our major roads in Scotland. It’s a blight, contributes to punctures and can cause accidents not to mention the fact that clearing it from our road and rail sides is a hazardous task.

“Littering is unacceptable – and in the Year of Natural Scotland and as we approach 2014 when we welcome the world to Scotland, it’s important that we show our country at its best. We have set out action to tackle Scotland’s litter problem in our National Litter Strategy consultation and are asking people to have their say on this during the summer.

“This Litter Week of Action is a great opportunity to highlight this issue and I’d encourage people to work together by taking action during the week so that we can show that littering is not tolerated here.”

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