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Littering from vehicles presented in call for views on the Circular Economy Bill

The Scottish Countryside Alliance submitted a response to the Circular Economy (Scotland) Bill consultation. This Bill aims to introduce measures to help Scotland develop a circular economy, which includes:

  • Publishing a circular economy strategy
  • Developing circular economy targets
  • Reducing waste
  • Increasing penalties for littering from vehicles
  • Making sure individual householders and businesses get rid of waste in the right way
  • Improving waste monitoring

The consultation closed on the 1st September, and to date, responses have not yet been published by the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee, the lead committee for this Bill. 

The Scottish Countryside Alliance responded to questions on: 

  • Household waste
  • Fly-tipping
  • A proposed code of practice and local authority targets for household waste and recycling 
  • Littering from vehicles
  • Enforcement powers in respect of certain environmental offences

The Scottish Countryside Alliance have been fully supportive of the proposed Fly-tipping Bill put forward by Murdo Fraser, MSP. Our organisation has been actively campaigning for tighter controls on fly-tipping and littering from vehicles, which have a detrimental impact on local communities and is a huge problem across all rural areas of the UK. We believe that it should not be the sole responsibility of landowners to clean up the refuse left on their land by fly-tippers. 

The Scottish Government should invest in better recycling bins for all Local Authorities and increase fines to deter littering and fly-tipping. Investment should be made in a new publicity campaign to highlight these issues. The 2014 “Keep Scotland Beautiful” Campaign, for example, used a simple reporting mechanism called “Dumb Dumpers” to report incidents of fly-tipping to local authorities. 

We also responded to questions regarding littering from vehicles, especially around larger-scale businesses which offer drive-thru operations. The use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras at these drive-thru businesses, may possibly act as a deterrent to littering from vehicles by printing vehicle registrations onto take-away packaging. Hence, any littering can be more easily linked back to a vehicle owner for enforcing penalties, such as a monetary fine. Other alternative penalties could include points on a driver’s licence, or a one-month driving ban. Research from Churchill Insurance (2016) concluded that up to 7.6 million UK drivers have admitted to littering from their vehicles, with the most common items being soft drink cans, plastic bags and fast-food wrappers.

To report litter to your local council, click here. Further information on how to report fly-tipping can be found here.

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