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Taking a closer look at litter on our trunk roads

With the help of road operators AMEY, we recently conducted an audit of a week's worth of litter collected from the Straiton Junction site along the Edinburgh City Bypass.

The results highlighted that more than 500 items of litter were cleared from approximately 100m of slip road in a single week.

Road crews were asked to label the bags of litter collected over the week of 23-30 March from the Straiton Junction of the Edinburgh City Bypass, where we are also conducting monthly litter counts.

The bags were then delivered to AMEY's Bilston Glen Industrial Estate depot where our campaign officer went through them to get an accurate measure of the litter dropped there that week.

Bags were emptied onto a tarp and the litter contents sorted before being counted. Due to time limitations only two of the four slip-roads of the Junction were analysed. Two full bin bags from each site contained a total of 297 items of litter from the Westbound on-slip and 222 items of litter from the Eastbound off-slip, making for a total of 519 items of litter in the space of a week.

This analysis also gave us insights into the types of litter being dropped at each site, which gives us a better understanding of their origins too.

Here is a breakdown of what we found:

 Confectionery  81
 Straws  41
 Cans  38
 Plastic bottles  36
 Fast food waste  29
 Paper  25
 Crisp packets  25
 Smoking related  24
 Other food related  22
 Bottle caps  22
 Cup lids  19
 Paper cups  12
 Bulky items  12
 Plastic cutlery  11
 Carrier bags  10
 Paper towels/wipes  9
 Plastic cups  7
 Organic  6
 Metal  5
 Glass bottles  2
 Full bin bags  1
Other/ Misc. 82

Going forward, results like these can be used to inform interventions in the area.

31 March 2017

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