Litter levels in Capital rise after crackdown

A STUDY by an industry body has found a one per cent increase in litter since the Scottish Government launched a new litter-free strategy two years ago.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 10:32 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:06 am
Rubbish has been increasing in the city. Picture; John Savage

According to the survey, supermarket carrier bag litter is up 38 per cent since 2014 despite the introduction of the carrier-bag charge during the same period.

Edinburgh was one of the sites named in the analysis, commissioned by the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), and conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful in October 2016.

The Evening News is currently running a Bin Watch campaign to keep the city’s street clean.

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Smaller items such as cigarette butts and gum made up the bulk of the litter count, while larger pieces were comprised of paper, sweet wrappers, drink cans, plastic drink bottles and cigarette packets.

The carrier-bag charge was introduced in Scotland in October 2014 while the Scottish Government launched its litter-free campaign Towards a Litter Free Scotland in June of the same year. However, the study suggests charges have not changed people’s behaviour with carrier bags representing under 0.5 per cent of the total litter count.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We increased fixed penalties to £80 for litter and £200 for fly-tipping.”