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New law to tackle roadside littering

Image credit: Penny Mayes via Wikimedia Commons

New law to tackle roadside littering

A new specific offence for littering from a car will be introduced by the Scottish Government as part of the Circular Economy Bill, Roseanna Cunningham has announced.

With nearly seven tonnes of rubbish gathered from the sides of the M8 and M9 each month alone, ministers have pledged that “tougher action” will be taken as soon as possible under the National Litter Strategy.

While it is already an offence to drop litter anywhere in Scotland, the plans follow a similar move in England last year, where local authorities were given new powers to use increased littering penalties against vehicle owners if it was proved litter was thrown from their car.

Following consultation on its littering strategy, the Scottish Government outlined proposals to make it easier for police to issue fixed penalties and to make best use of Litter Control Areas and Street Litter Control Notices.

Cunningham said: “Squads of litter pickers are out on our road network every single day collecting bottles, crisp packets, cans and more, but are facing an uphill battle in the face of mindless behaviour from those motorists and passengers who are choosing to throw their litter out of the window rather than binning or recycling empty packaging at the end of their journey.

“Scotland is a beautiful country that is being blighted by litter. Not only is littering from vehicles completely unnecessary, it is unsightly and it presents a danger, both to other motorists and to the operatives leading the clean-up operation. There is also a significant cost to the taxpayer, taking valuable resources away from other public services.

“Current efforts to tackle roadside litter are to be commended and supported as we continue to encourage motorists to not litter. The introduction of our deposit return scheme will further incentivise recycling and increase the value of some commonly littered items, but there can simply be no excusing the practice of littering from vehicles, which is why I am committed to introducing tougher measures to tackle this issue.”

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