Scotland’s leading rural and environmental organisations have written an open letter to Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, calling on the Scottish government to urgently provide clarity on how it intends to move forward its work on tackling flytipping.

In the letter, the organisations have said they would like to see a shift in focus from the endless task of clearing up other people’s mess to preventing it from occurring in the first place and have made three suggestions of how this could be achieved.

They have also warned that every week that passes by without serious action, is another week of "our beautiful country being used as a dumping ground".

The letter stated:

"We jointly write to you to express our continued concerns about flytipping which continues to blight Scotland’s countryside and to ask you to clarify the Scottish government’s plans for tackling this issue in the short to medium term.

Scotland’s beautiful countryside continues to be blighted by people’s rubbish on a daily basis and the negative impact this is having is significant.

"We know that flytipping can cause a wide range of problems to the natural, social and economic environment, including harm to wildlife and livestock, disease transmission, soil contamination, attraction of other crimes and substantial clear-up costs."

'A new approach is needed'

The letter continued: "Waste crime is becoming an increasingly more visible issue and we believe a new approach is needed to turn the tables on this crime for good.

"With Scotland rightly perceived as leading the way on a range of environmental issues, we believe 2020 should be the year we must start to address this issue - now is the time to bring all stakeholders to the table and agree how we can collectively tackle flytipping.

We firmly believe that by dealing with flytipping more effectively, there are significant benefits for Scotland’s economy – as well as for society and the environment – which as we recover from a global pandemic could not be more important.

"Every week that passes by without serious action, is another week of our beautiful country being used as a dumping ground," the letter concluded.