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Litter prevention - action plans to change behaviours

A new approach to litter and flytipping prevention to help organisations and communities in Scotland reduce costs and create a safer, cleaner environment for all.

We are rolling out a new litter and flytipping prevention initiative across Scotland. Organisations from a wide range of sectors and industries are being encouraged to produce Litter Prevention Action Plans which will then feed into the development of Community Litter Prevention Action Plans covering each Local Authority area.

Actions could be as simple as putting posters up in windows to discourage customers from littering, storing waste correctly, and making sure any external areas of your business are cleared of litter.  We can provide advice, support and a range of tools which can identify the types of actions you can take, and help you develop your plan.

Why should I get involved?

Taking part in this initiative will have a number of different benefits for organisations and the reasons for taking part will vary depending on sector and organisation type. Reasons for participation could include:

  1. Duty of Care and statutory obligations to keep land clear of litter: Legislation is available to local authorities to serve notice on those businesses that contribute to the creation of excess litter, requiring that they clean up to 100m either side of their business. More information on Street Litter Control Notices can be found here. Businesses also have an obligation to manage their waste in accordance with the Duty of Care Code of Practice. This new initiative encourages all businesses to select actions to enable everyone to play their part in keeping our environment clean. 
  2. Quality of public space: This matters to everyone, and clean public spaces will attract custom for and/or improve the perception of your organisation.
  3. Brand reputation: Research from Keep Britain Tidy has shown that people are less likely to buy from a company whose packaging they see as litter, and the majority of people feel that businesses should do more to prevent litter. Brand reputation can be damaged when products are discarded as litter.  Similarly, flytipping and litter which can be seen on or close to your premises, even if the items aren’t associated with your organisation, can harm people’s perceptions and reduce trade.

Preventing litter makes good sense for businesses and communities. Research has found that litter can be bad for business, tourism, health and wellbeing as well as the environment. By maintaining clean, litter-free premises and by taking actions to help to change behaviours of staff, customers, clients and volunteers, you can positively influence your local community and the image of your organisation.

Getting started

If your organisation is interested in developing a Litter Prevention Action Plan, please apply and we will email a starter pack to you. This will include:

  • Starter guide
  • Template Litter Prevention Action Plan
  • 1-page template (for use on noticeboards, public facing displays, circulation to staff/volunteers/clients)
  • Suggested actions list (this list is intended as a starting point and you are welcome to suggest your own actions and reword those listed in order to suit the specific needs and circumstances of your organisation).

Please note that you will receive your starter pack from our contractor Ricardo Energy & Environment.

Support materials

We also have a number of resources available online to help you develop or implement your plan:

  • Ready-to-print, litter prevention communications materials (e.g. posters)
  • Facts and figures from litter research
  • Videos and guidance  on Community action to prevent litter

For more information and to browse all available resources, visit the Zero Waste Scotland Litter Knowledge Network .

How do I create an Action Plan?

It is really easy to produce a Litter Prevention Action Plan.  To take part, please apply to request a starter pack, then just follow the steps laid out below:

Step 1 – Select at least six litter prevention actions

There are three types of activities that help tackle litter and flytipping - information (provide information to your staff and customers to discourage littering), infrastructure (improve your facilities to reduce litter and promote recycling) and enforcement (reinforce the impact of littering with your staff and customers).

Choose a minimum of two actions for each activity from the Litter Prevention Action List, or make your own.

Some examples of the actions you could undertake include:

  • Display litter preventions posters around your organisation
  • Follow Zero Waste Scotland on your social media and promote litter prevention messages
  • Download and share our litter prevention guides with your staff
  • Make sure your bins are put out for collection at the right time
  • Provide sufficient litter and recycling bins at your premises
  • Make sure any external areas of your premises are regularly cleared of litter

Step 2 – Update the Litter Prevention Action Plan template

Update the Litter Prevention Action Plan template with your selected action names and descriptions, and amend the front page with your organisation’s details.

Step 3 – Send your draft Litter Prevention Action Plan for review

Email your draft plan to us for review, and we will contact you to finalise your plan. 

Step 4 – Publish your plan

Publish your Litter Prevention Action Plan on our portal: http://litterplanportal.zerowastescotland.org.uk/Default.aspx

Step 5 – Adopt your Litter Prevention Action Plan

Once you have finalised your plan you can start to implement your actions. You can also use your completed 1-page action plan to demonstrate your involvement by displaying it on noticeboards or other public facing areas.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

Litter Prevention Action Plans are flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs and reach of your organisation. They can include “quick wins” in the form of simple, easy to implement measures or longer-term goals and actions, transforming the nature of your organisation.

 

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