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01/04/14 00:01

Litter louts to pay higher price

Increased penalties for littering and flytipping from today.

People dropping litter or flytipping in Scotland risk being hit with higher financial penalties from today (April 1, 2014).

The rise in Fixed Penalty Notices will see those caught littering face an £80 penalty; while those flytipping could be £200 worse off. The move follows a public consultation, which supported tougher penalties for anyone who doesn’t bin their waste or damages our environment by flytipping.

The penalty increase comes ahead of the Scottish Government’s National Litter Strategy - the first since devolution, which will be published later this year alongside the Scottish Marine Litter Strategy.

Commenting on the changes, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“Scotland’s natural environment is one of our greatest assets and we must do everything we can to keep it clean and litter-free. It is easy to do the right thing and put your litter in the bin – there really is no excuse for littering.

“Tackling litter and flytipping costs us a staggering £78 million every year. It’s impacting our economy, looks terrible and in some cases is affecting public health - none of us wants to see a litter-strewn environment; be it rural or urban. It’s up to all of us to take responsibility for this problem and I’d encourage everyone in Scotland to take their litter home, recycle it or find a litter bin.”

Cllr Stephen Hagan, COSLA’s Development, Economy and Sustainability Spokesperson commented:

“Litter and its effects have significant costs to both communities and councils. Local authorities are committed to working with their communities and partners to reduce the negative impacts of litter and flytipping, and fixed penalty notices are one of a number of ways in which behaviour change can be encouraged.

“The increase from a £50 to £80 penalty for littering had strong support through the National Litter Strategy consultation and councils will seek only to use this increased financial penalty when other avenues of education and prevention have failed to stop those individuals who not only flout the law but also the efforts of the wider community to keep Scotland clean, tidy and litter-free."

Notes to editors

It is a criminal offence to litter or flytip and it is the responsibility of individuals and businesses to do the right thing.

From 1 April 2014:

  • Anyone who drops litter can be issued with an £80 penalty (previously £50). If you don’t pay it then you may be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £2,500.
  • The penalty for flytipping is £200 (previously £50). If you don’t pay it then you may be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £40,000.

Litter and flytipping key facts:

  • £78 million is spent tackling litter and flytipping each year in Scotland
  • This includes costs to the taxpayer of £53 million a year through education, enforcement and clean up.
  • Of this, local authorities spend more than £36 million a year on removing litter, and a further £9 million clearing flytipping.
  • The rest of the £78 million is made up of indirect cost of littering amounting to at least £25 million a year, having an impact no crime, health, wildlife and other areas.
  • Approximately 250 million individual items of easily visible litter are cleared up each year
  • Littered items such as plastic bottles and aluminium cans could be recycled with a value of £1.2 million.
  • At least 26,000 tonnes of waste is also dumped illegally in flytipping activity

The consultation analysis was published earlier this month.

Scotland’s first National Litter Strategy, which will be published later this year, aims to prevent litter and flytipping by encouraging people to do the right thing through communication; the facilities and procedures provided; and strengthened enforcement.


Recycling - Bottles: Taken by SG Staff (Greg Maxwell) on site visit to new Bottle Recycling Plant

Recycling - Bottles

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