Zero Waste Scotland launches new partnership approach to prevent litter

Zero Waste Scotland has launched a nationwide initiative calling on businesses, local authorities and other organisations to help cut the cost of litter clean-up and join forces to prevent it from happening in their communities.

The call was launched today at the Engine Shed, Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre and an important visitor attraction, newly-opened by the River Forth in Stirling, where regular litter picks take place. Historic Environment Scotland, which manages the Engine Shed, is supporting the initiative.

Organisations across the public, private and third sector in Scotland are being invited to lead their communities in the fight against litter and flytipping by developing Litter Prevention Action Plans. It’s part of nationwide efforts to change behaviour and attitudes towards dropping litter.

Participants to the initiative will receive support from Zero Waste Scotland to identify the litter prevention actions that make up their action plans. Actions could be as simple as putting posters up in windows to discourage customers from littering, storing waste correctly, including litter prevention messages in staff inductions, and making sure any external areas of an organisation’s premises are cleared of litter.

Urging business across the country to get involved and help cut out litter, Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“It is clear that litter picking and cleaning alone is not a long-term solution to Scotland’s litter issue. That’s why we need to work together to prevent litter at its source.

“We have had a fantastic response from organisations in Dundee that are passionate about protecting their communities and the environment, and I’m excited to replicate this success across the country. I hope as many businesses and organisations as possible will get in touch to look at putting together an action plan for your area to help prevent litter from blighting it.”

Dr Mairi Davies, Climate Change Manager for Historic Environment Scotland, said:

“We’re pleased to support this initiative. Keeping Scotland’s historic environment litter-free is a key priority for us so we can help to ensure that it remains somewhere that people can enjoy.

“Working together with partners like Zero Waste Scotland to promote this litter prevention message means we are one step closer to achieving this shared goal.”

Litter has a substantial impact on Scotland’s environment, economy and communities, and dealing with litter and flytipping costs more than £50 million a year in public money, and each year over 15,000 tonnes of litter are discarded in Scotland.

The initiative provides a unique opportunity to change behaviours and attitudes towards litter and flytipping among staff, customers, service users and volunteers. It also enables organisations and businesses to take a visible stand against litter and demonstrate a positive influence on their local community.

Zero Waste Scotland is responsible for delivering the Scottish Government’s litter strategy, Towards a Litter-Free Scotland, and its world-leading emphasis on prevention.

Zero Waste Scotland recently launched the Litter Knowledge Network – which for the first time gathers together a suite of materials and expertise specifically targeted at preventing litter and flytipping that will help protect Scotland’s natural resources, and make best use of public money.

Any organisations interested in finding out more about the initiative should visit or email