Major sporting events in Scotland in 2014 have prompted an initiative to clean up the country’s roads.
Road litter is being targeted during Scotland’s Litter Week of Action ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Homecoming, which are all to be held in the country.
Frazer Scott, head of litter prevention at Zero Waste Scotland, said that ahead of these major events “it’s vital that we take steps to rid the country of its litter problem and make sure it can be enjoyed at its absolute best. Litter on the road and on the transport network doesn’t just look bad, it’s a waste of valuable resources.”
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Littering is unacceptable – and in the Year of Natural Scotland and as we approach 2014 when we welcome the world to Scotland, it’s important that we show our country at its best.”
He added that road litter is “a blight, contributes to punctures and can cause accidents not to mention the fact that clearing it from our road and rail sides is a hazardous task”.
A recent litter audit revealed that an average of seven bottles and cans can be found on every 100 metres of Scotland’s roads, creating a hazard to road users and wildlife, and costing millions of pounds to remove.
Zero Waste Scotland organised the action week on behalf of the Transport Litter Group, which is made up of sixteen public and private transport organisations and partners aiming to tackle litter.
The week, running between 19-25 August, includes litter picks, issuing fines for littering, station announcements and road sign messages. Over 40 organisations around Scotland are supporting the initiative including Transport Scotland, McDonald’s, Visit Scotland and First ScotRail.
Edinburgh-based tour group Rabbie’s Trail Burners is one of 30 additional organisations taking action is giving its drivers rubbish bags and gloves to carry out litter picks and will be communicating the clean-up message during tours.
The initiative coincides with the open consultation on the Scottish Government’s National Litter Strategy, which runs until 27 September.