Pictured: Kenneth Gibson MSP with Dalry & West Kilbride SNP Cllr Joy Brahim.
Tougher action on littering from vehicles will be introduced as part of a future Circular Economy Bill, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP announced.
If individual identification of those littering from a vehicle is not possible, the law change would move responsibility to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
With 1,300 bags – nearly 7 tonnes – of rubbish gathered from the sides of the M8 and M9 alone each month, action will be taken under the National Litter Strategy.
Joining operatives on the M9 to see the scale of the problem, Ms Cunningham said:
“I am committed to bringing forward new legislation as part of a future Circular Economy Bill, making it an offence to litter from vehicles.
“Squads of litter pickers are out on our road network every single day collecting bottles, crisp packets, cans and more, but face an uphill battle in the face of mindless behaviour from those motorists and passengers whothrow their litter out of the window rather than binning or recycling empty packaging at the end of their journey.
“Scotland is a beautiful country blighted by litter. Not only is littering from vehicles completely unnecessary, it is unsightly and it presents a danger, both to other motorists and to the operatives leading the clean-up operation. There is also a significant cost to the taxpayer, taking valuable resources away from other public services.
“Current efforts to tackle roadside litter are to be commended and supported as we continue encouraging motorists not to litter. The introduction of our Deposit Return Scheme will further incentivise recycling and increase the value of some commonly littered items. However, there is no excusing littering from vehicles, which is why I am committed to introducing tougher measures to tackle this issue."
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“We all know stretches of road that are painful to look at because there is so much litter. I’ve personally never understood what drives a person to throw litter. Not only does it detract from the environment we live in, it also is a waste of public funds when the Council has to clear it. However, it happens on a grand scale so it has become necessary to bring forward legislation.
“I am aware that Dalry & West Kilbride SNP Councillor Joy Brahim ensured North Ayrshire Council supports Keep Scotland’s Beautiful’s “Give Your Litter a Lift” Campaign and is currently working to promote the campaign.
“I support all efforts to raise awareness and put a stop to his appalling and hazardous practice.”