June 2014

Eunomia to Evaluate the Impact of Enhanced Scottish Litter Enforcement Powers

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The Scottish Government’s National Litter Strategy, which was published on 12th June 2014, includes a range of proposals to strengthen enforcement powers for local authorities and other duty bodies, including an early measure which saw an increase in the levels of fixed penalty notices for litter and flytipping offences from 1st April. Eunomia has been commissioned by the Scottish Government, in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland, to review the associated operational and resourcing implications of this change.

Measures introduced in the Strategy will affect public and private organisations including local authorities, land owners and the justice system. Increased levels of enforcement and elevated fines are expected to further sharpen the focus on litter and flytipping offences; hopefully providing a strong deterrent in this area. It is essential to understand how the changes will be taken up by those tasked with enforcement and to prepare all parties involved for the resulting impacts on delivery and effectiveness.

Eunomia Consultant George Cole commented:

“The increased enforcement powers could have far reaching effects. It is our aim to not only determine the impact of these changes but to also identify best practice, share learning, and facilitate efficiency gains amongst practitioners. The enhanced powers are part of a wider framework of measures designed to tackle litter and flytipping in Scotland. This systems-level approach aims to address the root causes of littering and flytipping with enforcement as the final resort.”

A 2013 report from Zero Waste Scotland, drawing in large part upon Eunomia research, highlights that litter and flytipping costs Scotland at least £53m on clearance, education and enforcement and a further £25m on the impact on areas like property values, health, crime and wildlife. The litter itself is thought to be worth £1.2m if recycled.