Scots lead roadside litter war

Scotland is leading the war on roadside litter with a national campaign targeted at reducing the menace.
Launched in December by Keep Scotland Beautiful, the campaign highlighted a number of key research findings, including:
  • 96.2% of motorways and A class roadside verges recorded a presence of litter, with one in seven classed as ‘significantly impacted’
  • More than half of Scottish adults had seen someone throw litter from a vehicle and not pick it up
  • 68% of Scottish adults think there is a problem with the amount roadside litter
  • 88% of Scottish adults agreed that roadside litter creates a negative impression of Scotland

The types of roadside litter noticed most are drinks bottles/cans (63%) and food/fast food packaging (61%), with takeaway cups (30%), plastic and paper bags (33%) and cigarette related litter (31%) also significantly noticeable.

Writing in The Scotsman, Derek Robertson, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:  “Whilst poor local environmental quality can manifest itself in a range of ways, through graffiti, dog fouling, flytipping and general disrespect for our surroundings, I guarantee you that it will be our continuing blight of roadside litter that will most obviously shame us all.

“It does so because there is something especially clinical and disrespectful about choosing roll down the window and throw litter out. It seems so easy – one act that both cleans our car, and trashes the environment for those in a place we have already left behind. It’s a national embarrassment that Keep Scotland Beautiful is committed to fixing, but it needs action from us all.

“First, we need to recognise the sheer scale of the problem. With almost 83% of roadsides blighted by litter, it is no surprise that over 50 tonnes of litter are collected every month. A shocking 112 bottles and cans are to be found on the average mile of Scottish road network, and half of all roadsides are littered by disposable cups and cigarette butts. Those statistics make for sobering reading, and they demonstrate that this blight is caused by consumption on the move – and a disgusting disrespect for our country. ”


The campaign aims not just to raise awareness of the problem but encourage people to think carefully about what part they can play in finding a solution.

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