Thumbs-up for litter consultation

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Anti-litter campaigner Graeme Dey MSP on Thursday backed the Scottish Government’s move to create cleaner communities and coastlines.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead unveiled two linked consultations that outline a series of activities to tackle the problem of land and marine litter head on.

The action plan will also target better education and improved communications, increased fixed penalties, more accessible recycling opportunities and a focus on maritime litter awareness.

Mr Dey, who is deputy convener of the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment committee, said: “Sadly, litter continues to blight many of our communities and coastlines. It is important that this changes which is why I welcome the government’s latest action.

“Scotland boasts some of the most stunning scenery of anywhere in the world and we all need to do what we can to ensure it is protected for future generations. We must not shirk this challenge but instead face it head-on by developing a stronger sense of civic pride for the places where we live.

“This, I believe, is the most effective way to combat the scourge of littering. I would encourage people to have their say on this issue and contribute to the consultation.”

New research reveals more than half of the population admit dropping litter which costs £53 million to tackle the problem, and a further £25 million through its effect on a range of related issues including crime, health and reduced property values.

The global issue of marine litter also threatens Scotland’s coastlines and wildlife and costs over £16 million a year to deal with.

‘Towards a Litter Free Scotland’ consultation runs until September 27 this year, and the Scottish Government intends to bring forward a final National Litter Strategy early in 2014. The Draft Marine Litter strategy consultation also runs until September 27.