Views sought on fly-tipping prevention measures in Scotland

The Scottish government have opened a public consultation for people to share their thoughts on proposed measures to prevent litter and fly-tipping, improve data and strengthen enforcement.

The consultation on a new National Litter and Fly-tipping Strategy proposes a range of measures, including raising fines for fly-tipping from £200 to £500 – the maximum permitted by current legislation. The consultation also asks if they should be raised beyond this cap.

The introduction of a sustained national behaviour change campaign is also being proposed, aimed at breaking the cycle of littering and fly-tipping. This would be supported by new research, the government notes, looking at why people continue to litter.

Other proposals include the increased and improved use of data to locate and target litter and fly-tipping hotspots.

The creation of a national fly-tipping forum, chaired by the Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slate, will also bring together key stakeholders in Scotland to discuss how to implement the new strategy and share best practice and insights relating to tackling fly-tipping.

Launching the consultation, Minister Slater said:

We want a Scotland that is free of the blight of litter and fly-tipping. That’s why we’re asking for views on a bold set of measures that could help make our streets, parks and public spaces free of rubbish.

“Litter and fly-tipping are not just a blight on local communities – they also cost millions of pounds every year in clean-up costs. We need to send a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We also need to understand why anti-litter measures are still not reaching some people. To address that, we are proposing not just a one off campaign, but a sustained push, backed by new research into why people litter.

We also want to make better use of data to clamp down on illegal dumping. By understanding more about where and when fly-tipping takes place, we can be more effective in targeting interventions to stop it.”

The consultation runs until March 31, 2022 and can be accessed online, via gov.scot.

Fly-tipping

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland had called on Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, calling on the Scottish Government to provide clarity on how it intends to move forward its work on tackling fly-tipping earlier this winter (September 16).

In the open letter from the organisation, Scottish Land & Estates, NFU Scotland, Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Woodland Trust said:

“We jointly write to you to express our continued concerns about fly-tipping 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.”

Similar problems are being seen in England; On December 8, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released fly-tipping statistics for England for 202-2021.

Local authorities, the statistics revealed, dealt with 1.13 million fly-tipping incidents, an increase of 16% from the 980,000 reported in 2019/20.

Commenting on the released figures, president of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Mark Tufnell said:

“These figures do not tell the full story of this disgraceful behaviour which blights our beautiful countryside.

Fly-tipping continues to wreck the lives of many of us living and working in the countryside – and significant progress needs to be made to stop it.”