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Fast food waste problem for Edinburgh

Fast food outlets are providing the streets of Edinburgh with its biggest waste-related challenge.

While ready prepared take away food is endemic of a fast-moving society, the litter that this creates is seen as the biggest problem afflicting the Scottish capital.

In a recent Citizens Panel questionnaire that was sent to 1,554 members, dog fouling, the most pressing concern during 2004 and 2005 dropped from first place to fourth.

In its place, fast food and general litter were seen as the most pertinent problems at present, with pizza boxes and fish and chip cartons noted as two of the most commonly observed items.
As a result, billboards will be placed in 10 high-profile city centre locations, with the strap line ‘Your litter — your problem’.

While this puts the onus on the individual not to drop litter, £50 will be spelt out in discarded food left-overs — the amount that an individual can be fined by a council Environmental Warden for dropping litter in the street.

Edinburgh City Council executive member for Environment and Streetscape councillor Robert Cairns said: “The latest Keep Edinburgh Clean advertising campaign is the most hard-hitting to date.

“It focuses on the problem of fast food litter and aims to reduce litter levels in the city by emphasising the legal implications of littering.

“Through this campaign, the council is taking a tougher than ever approach to litter. Whereas previous campaigns have used humour to get the message across, this one is using more striking visuals which show litter at its worst.”

Cigarette ends were also noted by members of the survey as a priority issue, with a further advertising campaign in August set to tackle the problem of this waste stream in the city.

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