Scottish Tories call to increase littering fine to £100

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 13 November 2018 in News

Alongside proposals for a Scottish recycling plant, which the Tories say would increase recycling rates and create jobs, the party will unveil plans for a ‘Scottish Green city plan'

Image credit: Penny Mayes via Wikimedia Commons

The Scottish Conservatives will unveil plans for a Scottish plastic recycling plant alongside proposals to increase the on-the-spot fine for littering to £100 as part of new environmental policies announced today.

With the current on-the-spot fine set at a maximum £80, the plans would see the Scottish default rate rise to the highest in the UK.

Alongside proposals for a Scottish recycling plant, which the Tories say would increase recycling rates and create jobs, the party will unveil plans for a ‘Scottish Green city plan’, including mass tree and vegetation planting across Scotland’s cities, the establishment of ‘school farms’, and new allotments.

Scottish Conservative shadow environment secretary Maurice Golden said: “Litter is a blight on our landscape and our communities and it is clear from recent research that the problem is actually getting worse.

“A small minority are spoiling Scotland’s streets, parks and countryside for the law abiding majority. Increasing the default fine for littering is one way to make people stop and think before just throwing something away. This significant fine for littering is also a proportionate punishment for anyone who is caught.

“We all need to be more conscious of the waste we create and the importance of recycling. A Scottish plastic recycling plant would help to recycle a valuable resource, create jobs and help to ensure that no plastics from Scotland end up polluting our oceans.

“Evidence shows that where streets are clean they are kept clean and we need to send a strong signal to those who are littering that this is completely unacceptable.”

As part of the ‘Green city plan’ the party is suggesting that groups of local schools across Scotland would share a farm which would be established nearby on underused or derelict land, or in park land.

The plans would aim to teach children about food production, healthy eating and provide insight into rural life for children in urban areas.

Meanwhile the party would also put derelict sites into use as a new generation of allotments to increase knowledge of food production and healthy eating amongst urban residents, contribute towards biodiversity and help spread green spaces through suburban areas.

Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon said: “We welcome the Scottish Tories proposal for a plastic recycling plant in Scotland. It could work in tandem with the forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme and inject fresh impetus into Scotland's drive towards a circular economy. Having dedicated recycling facilities in Scotland will cut down on emissions and costs of transporting materials as well as providing jobs and clear signal of intent on reducing waste.

“As the public pressure mounts to reduce the amount of plastic we use, Grangemouth will start to see a drop in the demand for plastic and the industrial area there starts to look like the obvious place to house a plastics recycling plant in the future."

He added: “We also welcome the Tories plans to boost the number of allotments and create school farms, helping people grow their own food, spend time in the outdoors and reducing food waste."

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