Exploring the Indirect Costs of Litter in ScotlandBack
In support of Zero Waste Scotland’s strategy development, Eunomia was commissioned to provide two reports establishing the scale of the costs currently associated with litter.
The first was based on a survey of Scottish local authorities, and sought to establish the direct costs to these authorities, and to other duty bodies, of engaging in the clean-up of litter and clearance of flytipping. This second study was focused on exploring the indirect costs of litter, which are the costs beyond those faced by duty bodies.
Examples of indirect cost categories for which monetary estimates were developed included crime, property values, mental health and wellbeing, and road traffic accidents. In addition to these types of impacts, where the cost is ‘internalised’ in a market transaction, the authors reviewed the evidence in respect of ‘externalised’ costs. These represent the sense of ‘welfare loss’ associated with factors such as the visual disamenity of a park strewn with litter. Overall estimates were developed for both local environmental disamenity, and for beach litter.
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