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Complete litter surveys

Complete litter surveys

Want to get an understanding of the specific litter problems in your community? Complete one of our surveys to find out what items and behaviours you should be tackling.

We know that across Scotland litter, dog fouling and flytipping levels continue to be the worst in a decade. Through community litter picks, individuals, community groups and schools will all have an idea of what their specific problems are, but we want to support you to confidently identify the specific problems so that you can use it as evidence to target campaigns to change negative behaviours and prevent littering.  Litter surveys will also contribute to national evidence around litter and irresponsible behaviour. 

Our new citizen science toolkit is designed to help you gather evidence and use it to take preventative action against litter in your communities. Use the guidance below and our Clean Up Scotland online portal to find out more. The survey follows the success of our Upstream Battle surveys that individuals and anchor groups were completing in their communities around the Clyde. Check out the most recent report of the findings across Scotland.


Completing a survey is simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Download our handy survey info pack

2. Find your grot spot to survey and download or print off our survey form.

3. Upload your results to our online portal through your account.

What happens next?

Our surveys are designed to enable you to determine your local litter problems so that you can tackle the problem effectively. You will need to engage with relevant stakeholders to design bespoke interventions to change specific problem behaviours for good.


What do your findings show?

Think about your survey results. What was item or group of items were popular? What are you seeing a lot of which might be unexpected? Can you group your items into categories that all have the same behaviour or issue attached to them?

For example:

School lunch litter – items that pupils are discarded as a result of buying and consumer outwith the school gates.

Fast food litter – litter than people are buying from shops or restaurants and consuming on the go.

Picnic and drinking litter – food and drink that people have planned to take to consume in a specific location

Household waste – litter than has blown from a bin or has been flyipped

Alternatively there might be a very specific single item you want to concentrate on.


Identify your relevant stakeholders

What organisations and groups in your local area can help address this problem? The type of litter your finding can give you some indication of those who are producing it (both manufacturers and retailers), those who consumed it (those who bought the item and those who used it), and those that can influence the consumers (teachers, employers and parents).

We’d recommend working collectively to work out how to solve the behaviour. Can you add signage to purchasing locations? Can you add signage in the areas you're finding it discarded or along the route where items are used? 


Designing a campaign

Raise awareness locally of the problem and remind people why it's a problem and how they should be acting.

This can be done a few ways. You can be explicit in your ask and problem, or sometimes a less authoritative/instruction based message will nudge people in the right direction.

This can be done physically on the ground with posters, wraps and stickers or through social media (check out Zero Waste Scotland's page for hints and tips). 

  • Create a short slogan to get the message across.Try your best to tailor it to your desired audience, location and behaviour.
  • Make the posters and design engaging. Can you think of something funny to say, something hard hitting, something visual, or a funny pun?
  • Make them local. Use local images and local slogans.

Make sure you shout about what you are doing and if you have trialed something that worked, let us know - we'd love to create case studies to inspire others. Get in touch:

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