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July 1, 2015

How to stop litter

Anyone who has been to Majorca will have been struck not just by the obvious beauty of the place but also by the complete absence of any litter. And not just in the towns and villages. The roads appear to be completely clear of it too. Compare that with Scotland where for every 15 metres of road you’ll find a discarded bottle or can. ZWS commissioned some research into what kind of prevention activity is most likely to be effective and they’re now inviting communities to test out these ideas in practice. There’s some cash available for those who want it.

The recently published national litter strategy, Towards a litter free Scotland, makes clear that prevention is a key focus and aims to encourage personal responsibility and reduce the need for expensive clean-up and enforcement.

Zero Waste Scotland commissioned Eunomia Research and Consulting to research ways in which community level activities can best be developed and supported to bring about litter prevention.

The approaches researched which were believed, based on practitioner experience, to have the most potential to prevent littering, were grouped into five ‘options’ as a way of presenting the findings and discussing future considerations for community level litter prevention. The options are not discrete entities but can be combined or used in succession. These, in no particular order, are:

•             Option 1: Litter Pick PLUS – clean-ups designed to maximise the litter prevention impacts;

•             Option 2: Community campaigns;

•             Option 3: Monitoring and citizen science;

•             Option 4: Incentives – used to motivate behaviour change;

•             Option 5: Wider community approaches,including

o             Option 5a: Community green space and street improvements – re-purposing sites for community use as green spaces; and

o             Option 5b: Wider community building – to develop a sense of civic pride leading to litter prevention effects.

A fund for Third Sector community based litter prevention projects is now open for applications.

The grant fund is to support Third Sector organisations to trial community based options for litter prevention activity. Learning captured from the projects funded will contribute to the establishment of best practice for community led approaches, supporting community action at a local level.

The fund application form and guidance notes can be accessed by registering your details here