Tackling the £78 million litter blight

New research from Zero Waste Scotland reveals that more than half the population admit dropping litter which costs £53 million to clear up, and a further £25 million through its effect on a range of related issues including crime, health and reduced property values.

3 Jul 13

The research also found that:

  • Over half the population of Scotland admits to having dropped litter
  • 250 million individual items of litter are cleared up each year
  • Half of these items could have been recycled.  They include valuable materials like plastic bottles and aluminium cans.  Recycled, these would be worth £1.2 million through sales of materials.
  • 26,000 tonnes of waste is also dumped illegally in fly tipping activity

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead today unveiled a new consultation that outlines a series of actions to tackle the problem of litter head on.

‘Towards a Litter Free Scotland’ consultation runs until 27 September and the Scottish Government intends to bring forward a final National Litter Strategy – the first since devolution - early in 2014.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“We welcome this consultation bringing a renewed impetus to efforts to tackle litter and flytipping.  We particularly welcome the focus on litter prevention given the cost of clean-up to the public purse.

“Littered materials could be worth more than £1 million to Scotland if they were recycled instead. We need to stop thinking of the things we discard as waste and instead treat them as resources which could benefit our economy and this can bring a new perspective to the litter debate.”

The full research report can be found here.

The Scottish Government news release can be found here.

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