Roadside shame of Scotland’s manky motorists

Croproadside litter

50 tonnes of litter are discarded on Scotland’s roadsides every month

Graham Martin's photo

20th September 2018 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Manky motorists are burying Scotland’s roadsides under a mountain of rubbish.

Now, in response to recent polling, which found that almost 100% of the public believe that litter is creating a negative impression of Scotland, an environmental charity is stepping up its campaign to shame the country’s dirty drivers.

Keep Scotland Beautiful says 50 tonnes of litter are discarded on Scotland’s roadsides every month with almost all main roads affected.

With almost 65% of people feeling that not enough action is being taken to reduce roadside litter, Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) is calling for a change in driver behaviour to reverse these trends.

With research revealing that over half of the litter on our roads comes from people eating and drinking in their car, the charity is clear that responsibility lies with drivers and it is down to them to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish appropriately.

KSB has been working since 2016 to help address roadside litter, through a combination of awareness-raising with its “give your litter a lift” campaign and various infrastructure interventions.

In this time there has been a 17% increase in awareness of roadside litter as a problem among Scottish adults.

Derek Robertson, KSB’s chief executive, said: “All across Scotland we are seeing a significant increase in the amount of litter lying at our roadsides. We are working on all fronts to address this, but it is essential that everyone plays their part. With only 16% of people thinking that enough is being done to reduce roadside litter, it is time that Scotland pulled together to eradicate this unnecessary strain on local and government resource.

“Every single piece of litter left at Scotland’s roadsides was discarded by a thoughtless individual. Unless the Scottish Government takes action to improve enforcement, and unless drivers ultimately change their behaviour, beautiful Scotland will be buried under roadside litter.”

With 47 partners on board from across the transport, tourism and service industries, the campaign has helped to bring forward a number of innovative infrastructure solutions such as the specially-designed Tuben funnel bins from Denmark, some of which are already in operation along the North Coast 500 route in the Highlands, with support from Highland Spring.

Going forward, phase two of the campaign will bring more focus to the true culprits of Scotland’s roadside litter problem - those who throw it - with interventions aimed at a number of target road-user groups.

The charity is also calling on the Scottish Government to make necessary improvements to litter legislation that will make it easier to enforce penalties and fines against those littering from vehicles.

21st September 2018 by Lok Yue

Thank you Graham for bringing to our attention a particularly filthy example of plain idleness and selfishness. If people want to take cars to a rural lay-by for a picnic or other enjoyments, legal or illicit, I couldn't care less. However, there is no reason other than thoughtlessness that they simply heave their leftovers out of the car window for someone else to trip over or pick up. My only disbelief about the article is that its only 50 tons a month

21st September 2018 by John

While raising valid points about motorists throwing litter out of their vehicles. The statement that all rubbish at the roadside is due to motorist is very presumptive as I do not believe that sheets of black plastic in the countryside which have probably been wrapped round silage should be blamed on motorists. Also going by the picture used in the article, which includes large domestic and business waste bags are unlikely to be from somebody throwing them out of a window as they drive along, but are more likely to be the result of fly tipping a completely different problem from motorists litter. This generalisation in my opinion undermines some of the arguments in the article and would indicate that the article is trying to reinforce the growing attacks on motorists being the cause of air pollution and any other problem remotely linked. In an attempt to reinforce need for regulation to limit peoples use of cars