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Tackling Scotland's litter emergency together

Nine in ten people in Scotland believe that litter is an issue across the country. Almost two fifths believe that litter in general has become more common in their area in the past year.

There is no doubt that the litter emergency is worsening. We all need to take action.

In light of these damning figures, it was extremely inspiring to see more than 40 people representing 26 organisations attend this year’s Local Environmental Quality seminar today.

Held at the Stirling Court Hotel, this year’s seminar looked at the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy which was launched this summer, with presentations from Diffley Partnership’s Mark Diffley, Craig Fraser from SEPA, Keep Wales Tidy’s Angharad James as well as members of our own team.

We welcomed a range of stakeholders, including local authorities but also a range of other duty bodies, Scottish Government, third sector organisations and businesses and community groups.

The day began with a keynote speech by our Chief Executive Barry Fisher who reflected on the new strategy, highlighting the need for innovative ideas, a willingness to try new approaches and a focus on strengthening the capacity and capabilities of communities.

Attendees then had the chance to hear from Mark Diffley, founder and director of the Diffley Partnership, who shared the learnings from our recently published Scottish Litter Survey.

Craig Fraser, Senior Policy Officer, National Waste Unit, at Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) then delivered a presentation on the recently published National Litter and Flytipping Strategy and the hopes of the strategy and the Action Plan.

Throughout the day three workshops took place in two separate sessions. South Ayrshire Council’s Iain Martin spoke about their partnership with us and behaviour change app LitterLotto, another sessions on engaging volunteers was hosted by Volunteer Scotland’s Sally Latto and Kelly Eagle, and Alastair Alford, our Senior Officer, Local Environmental Quality, lead a session on community-focused litter education.

Barry Fisher, our CEO, said: “Our two latest reports shine a light on the litter emergency we’re facing in Scotland and so it was fantastic to see so many people who are keen to tackle the issue at this year’s LEQ seminar.

“Tackling the litter emergency will require collaboration, innovation and a willingness to do what is necessary to keep Scotland beautiful.

“With the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy now published, and our two reports – Scottish Litter Survey and How clean are our streets? – highlighting the scope of the issue, we now know what we’re facing and how we’re planning on addressing the issue.

“I want to thank everyone who attended as well as our fantastic presenters for making this year’s seminar such a positive event. Everyone has a part to play to tackle the litter emergency and we must all take action.”

We all have a part to play to tackle Scotland’s litter emergency, and we need your help. Reach out to us and together we can keep Scotland beautiful.

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14 December 2023

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