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 to remove.

The country’s growing problem is being highlighted this week, as more than forty organisations across Scotland have lent their support to a clamp down on litter on Scotland’s roads as part of Litter Week of Action.

The week, organised by Zero Waste Scotland on behalf of the Transport Litter Group – sixteen key Scottish public and private transport organisations and partners wanting to tackle litter – will include litter picks, issuing fines for littering, station announcements and road sign messages.

Participating in the event, organisations including Transport Scotland, McDonald’s, Visit Scotland and First ScotRail will be promoting action across the country.

Head of litter prevention, Zero Waste Scotland, Frazer Scott, said: “2014 is set to be an important year for Scotland, with events including the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Homecoming, and as such 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. Items like empty drinks bottles and cans could be recycled and help to boost the economy.

Commenting on the issue, 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”.

The week of action coincides with the open consultation on the Scottish Government’s National Litter Strategy – the first since devolution “Towards a Litter Free Scotland” which runs until 27 September.

Leigh Stringer

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