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Flingin’s Mingin’ Toolkit

Clamping down on the litter on Scotland’s roads.

What is transport litter and why is it a problem?

Transport litter is any material that's thrown or escapes from a public or private vehicle. On average, there are four plastic bottles and three drinks cans littered on every 100 metres of our major roads in Scotland. 

As well as being unsightly and giving a poor impression to visitors, this litter poses a safety risk to those who clear litter from roadsides and verges. It can also cause punctures and accidents among other road users.

There is a significant cost in clearing litter left at roadsides and laybys. And it represents a considerable loss of valuable materials. Drinks bottles and cans are easily recycled - through household collection services and increasingly in public areas through initiatives such as Recycle on the Go.

Drivers and commuters can play a part in preventing transport litter by placing materials in suitable bins. Transport providers and employers can engage with employees and customers to dispose or waste responsibly.

Why have these materials been produced?

We have produced a series of transport-specific litter prevention materials. Effective and accessible messaging plays a key role in engaging and motivating the public to change their behaviour.

Our research also indicates that littering behaviour is affected by a number of factors including location, amenity, time of day, social situation, audience and perception of individual litter types.

This research supports the approach taken for the Flingin’s Mingin’ campaign. The communication toolkit provides materials and messaging that speak to people while driving, challenging the behaviour of those who think it is acceptable to litter from their vehicle and preventing litter arising in the first place.

How have these materials been used?

In 2013, a wide range of organisations who were impacted by transport litter used the communications materials. This included:

  • Scotrail;
  • Transport Scotland;
  • Bear Scotland;
  • Stagecoach;
  • 15 Scottish Local Authorities;
  • Charities such as Keep Scotland Beautiful and Shetland Amenity Trust;
  • Private companies including Miller Construction, Rabbie’s Trail Burners and McDonalds;
  • VisitScotland.

Their campaigns achieved national newspaper and TV coverage, and widespread social media providing over 2 million opportunities for the public to see the messaging. It was translated into a wide range of communication materials from posters and banners to tannoy announcements and message boards in 87 First Scotrail stations. This was accompanied by increased enforcement measures on those caught littering from their vehicles.

The materials are available for all interested organisations to use to promote the prevention of litter from vehicles, such as those who maintain or clear roads, provide public transport services, or are affected by roadside litter.

The materials can be amended to include your logos and the most common litter types in a given area.

What other resources are available?

In addition, we have produced a series of communication materials which can be used in other contexts which may be linked to transport. 

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