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Travel restrictions might soon be lifted, make sure your litter is too.

15 April 2021

Scotland is a beautiful country. Our roads are how we travel and explore it. So we know that as travel restrictions ease this Friday, individuals and families across Scotland will be excited about exploring our countryside, parks and beaches once again.

Over recent years our annual litter surveys have highlighted that our throw-away society has resulted in an increase in litter nationally and many of our roadsides are blighted by a jumble of cans, bottles, cups, crisp packets, and food wrappers, tubs and boxes, flung from the windows of passing vehicles.

As travel restrictions are lifted this weekend, it is more important than ever that we all play our part in looking after our country and our roadsides. 


Catherine Gee, our Deputy Chief Executive said, “Prior to lockdown more than 50 tonnes of litter was thrown onto Scotland’s roadsides each month.  This litter is difficult, dangerous and expensive to clean up and ruins the view for locals and visitors alike – with 91% of people believing roadside litter creates a negative impression of our country.

During lockdown our polling indicated that 30% of people believed the overall condition of their local neighbourhoods had deteriorated. 

Over the last twelve months local authorities and road operating companies across the country have been under pressure to adapt services due to the health crisis and prioritise essential services to protect public health.

Now, as we emerge from lockdown, we want to work with all of the main stakeholders - the road operating companies with responsibility for litter removal on the motorways about their deep cleans scheduled for this spring and summer, local authorities who have responsibility for all other roads, and retailers - about possible interventions we can support them with to raise awareness of the illegal behaviour of tossing litter from a vehicle and the impact it has on our environment.”


Litter ruins the view for locals and visitors alike. It is harmful to wildlife and environmental quality. With our Summer Clean coming up between May 28 and June 20 we are asking people across Scotland to pledge to pick up litter, but cleaning up on the roadsides is dangerous - cleaning up is not the answer, prevention is. You can download our campaign materials so that you can also spread the message and help us clean up Scotland. 


The solution is simple, we need to encourage everyone to: Give your litter a lift, take it home!


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