Litter and flytipping legislation

Littering and flytipping are both criminal offences, disposing of waste irresponsibly could result in a fine or prosecution.

Anyone who drops litter can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice; failure to pay may result in prosecution and the risk of a fine of up to £2,500. The fixed penalty notice for flytipping is £200, if you don’t pay it then you may be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £40,000.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 is the key piece of legislation for tackling litter and flytipping, Part II outlines the duties for flytipping while Part IV refers to litter.

The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2006 (COPLAR) provides practical guidance on the discharge of duties imposed on all relevant bodies by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to keep specified land clear of litter and refuse.

Appendix 1 in Part 2 of COPLAR provides a guide for the public on ‘Litter and the Law in Scotland’. This includes information on what a person can do if they are concerned about litter in a particular area. Appendix 5 gives more detail on how to take action.under Section 91 of the Environmental Protection Act. 

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