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We're calling for better enforcement to kerb roadside litter

It's time to shift up a gear to tackle the growing problem of our roadside litter shame.

As part of our national week of action on roadside litter we've launched a call for the urgent removal of existing barriers to fining people for littering from their vehicles.

Litter levels are at their worst levels in a decade causing far-reaching social, economic and environmental consequences.  Now new polling research we commissioned has revealed that 73% of people believe there has been no improvement in roadside litter levels in the past few years, with 45% thinking the problem has further worsened.

In addition, 88% of people agree that the owner of a vehicle should face a fine when litter is thrown from their vehicle, by them or a passenger.  Now, with mounting support from the public, we are calling for barriers to enforcement to be removed to reach those that aren’t getting the message and persist in discarding litter irresponsibly on the roadside.

Derek Robertson, our CEO, said: “We believe that alongside education and infrastructure, enforcement has to be part of the solution to our roadside litter shame.  The current barrier to enforcement – the need to identify the offender - could be easily overcome with a simple amendment to the wording of the relevant section of the existing legislation.

“Most councils are supportive of the need to change the legislation, and it is estimated that double the number of fixed penalty notices could be issued if the registered keeper of the vehicle was held responsible.

“More encouragingly, we now know that 65% of people would be prepared to report the registration number of a vehicle if they saw litter being thrown from it, allowing for more fines to be issued.

“The time to shift our roadside litter campaign up a gear is now.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We encourage everyone to give their litter a lift and drive it home.

“Across the country we are seeing the great work of individuals and communities in tackling litter problems in their areas which shows we all have a role to play in changing Scotland’s throwaway culture as it can benefit our environment and save money.
 
“We have a National Litter Strategy in place, which includes action to strengthen the deterrent effect of enforcement and are proud to be the first country in the UK to commit to introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers to increase recycling rates and reduce littering.
 
“We have also appointed an expert panel to advise on environmental charges and other measures to prevent wasteful behaviours for single use items.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Throwing litter from a vehicle is not only a disgusting habit, it can also be very dangerous for other road users, including motorcyclists who can be distracted or hit by the items; and for road workers who have to try and safely clean up the mess.

“Everyone can help clean up our roads, improve safety, and redirect money to improve road maintenance, by simply waiting until they are home to dispose of it properly or pulling over, when it’s safe to do so, at a bin or recycling point. We urge everyone to get behind Keep Scotland Beautiful’s spring clean campaign this month, and help raise awareness of the impact of road-side litter.”

16 May 2018

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