Shaping the new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy

Our research shows that 88% of Scots agree that litter is a problem across Scotland. And 70% are concerned about the problem in their area. 

This year we have supported people across Scotland to have their voices heard and to make responses to the recent consultation by the Scottish Government on a new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland. 

We have listened to those we work with, to young people, to communities, to businesses and to local authorities, and we have now submitted our response to the consultation. 

In early 2020 a review was completed of Scotland’s first National Litter Strategy (launched in 2014), but progress with the outcomes of the review was put on hold as a result of Covid-19. The outcomes of the review were published in early 2021, highlighting key successes of the Strategy and the progress made. It also recognised that litter and flytipping are deep-rooted problems that continue to pose a significant challenge across Scotland. 

Our report – Time for a new approach to tackling litter – published in December 2020 set out clearly the current situation in Scotland with regard to the decline in local environmental quality and the primary drivers of this decline. It specifically highlighted the role that unsustainable consumption played in driving the looming litter emergency, and the wider negative impacts that this had with regard to climate and biodiversity. 

The report set out a package of recommendations on how the Scottish Government, public agencies, local authorities, communities and other stakeholders could work collaboratively to take action to reverse this decline, recognising that no one organisation could do this acting in isolation. 

Since late 2020 we’ve been working in partnership with the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland to progress these recommendations, including organising a successful national Litter Summit in March last year. 

In March 2021, the Scottish Government committed to developing a new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy which will define litter and flytipping as two separate issues of equal importance and will set out to identify coordinated and collaborative action to tackle each. 

We’ve been working with them and Zero Waste Scotland to support the development of this new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland including facilitating workshops with key stakeholders to help inform the draft strategy and consultation.  The consultation paper was published on 13 December 2021 and closed for consultation on 31 March 2022. 

The aim of the strategy is to support a future where people understand their responsibilities relating to waste disposal and are motivated not to litter or flytip. 

The new strategy will consider the pollution caused by litter and flytipping within the context of a leakage to the circular economy and contributing to the climate and biodiversity crisis. With Scotland declaring a climate emergency in 2019 and hosting COP26 in November 2021, the contribution that preventing litter and flytipping can make to protecting our climate and biodiversity should not be underestimated. 

In addition, we have been working with Marine Scotland on an updated Marine Litter Strategy.  The consultation for this ended on 22 March and gave everyone the chance to have their say on litter and what can be done to tackle it on land and in the marine environment. 

We are collaborating with partners post-consultation to drive implementation, working to make Scotland clean, green and sustainable. #RespectProtectEnjoy 

National Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland

The Scottish Government has been developing a new National Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland which had a 15-week public consultation period.  We supported the process alongside Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). 

The public consultation closed on 31 March 2022.  



How we monitor local environmental quality across Scotland

We understand issues such as litter, dog fouling, flytipping, flyposting and graffiti, because for almost 20 years, in partnership with Scotland’s local authorities, we have carried out annual surveys at a random selection of sites across Scotland every year using the Local Environmental Audit and Management System (LEAMS). This information enables local authorities to be efficient with their local cleaning activity and informs their policies and campaigns to tackle these issues. It also supports the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018 which require local authorities and others to keep specified land and public roads clean and litter-free.

Over the years we have used the data collected to produce annual reports and key reviews highlighting national trends. Check out the findings from the 2020/21 report.

We continue to work in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland and local authorities on the transition of LEAMS towards the development and implementation of the new Litter Monitoring System (LMS) to provide greater consistency of approach and improve transparency in cleanliness grades.

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