The move follows research that for the first time has placed a price on the cost of removing litter and fly-tipping, with half the population admitting to dropping litter that is costing the taxpayer £53million to clear up – with a further £25million bill spread over dealing with related crime, health and reductions in property value.
Behind the research is Zero Waste Scotland, who recruited the Environment Secretary, Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, to help raise awareness of the issue and unveil the consultation that outlines a series of actions that would tackle the litter issue head on.
Mr Lochhead said: “Litter is a blight on Scotland’s communities and coastlines, tarnishing our beautiful landscapes and harming our natural assets.
“For the first time we are now able to put a price on the real cost of littering. With more than 250million items of litter and over 60,000 fly tipping incidents a year, we must all do more to tackle this problem.”
Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We welcome this consultation bringing a renewed impetus to efforts to tackle litter and fly tipping. We particularly welcome the focus on litter prevention given the cost of clean-up to the public purse.
“Littered materials could be worth more than £1million to Scotland if they were recycled instead. We need to stop thinking of the things we discard as waste and instead treat them as resources which could benefit our economy and this can bring a new perspective to the litter debate.”
Proposals being considered by the Scottish Government include an increase on fixed penalties for littering from £50 to £80, while penalties for fly tipping could increase from £50 to £200.
The full research report can be found on the Zero Waste Scotland website.