Capital organisations urged to help tackle litter

Read news from Zero Waste Scotland, who are encouraging businesses and groups to create litter action plans.

Organisations and businesses across Edinburgh are being invited to take part in a new initiative from Zero Waste Scotland to tackle litter at the source and reduce its impact on the community.

The initiative supports organisations and businesses to change behaviours and attitudes towards litter and fly-tipping among their staff, customers, service users and volunteers. It provides a unique opportunity for organisations across the public, private and third sectors to demonstrate a positive influence on Edinburgh.

Participants to the initiative will pledge a set of actions to help prevent litter and flytipping and to change behaviours. These could be as simple as putting posters up to discourage littering, storing waste correctly and making sure any external areas are cleared of litter. They will receive free support from Zero Waste Scotland to deliver their plans and are encouraged to share their success with organisations across Edinburgh.

15,000 tonnes of litter are discarded in Scotland each year, at a cost of £50 million to local authorities and tax payers. Local economies and businesses also suffer from the effects of litter.

A business’s reputation can be damaged when its products or packaging are the cause of littering, and littered streets reduce the popularity of local tourist spots. 

Litter has a substantial impact on Scotland’s environment, economy and communities, and dealing with litter costs more than £9m a year for City of Edinburgh Council taxpayers. Each year over 7000 tonnes of litter are discarded in Edinburgh.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, encouraged all local organisations to get involved.

She said: “We need to work together to address the issue of litter, that’s why I would urge local organisations and businesses to join in and develop a Litter Prevention Action Plan. 

“As a Council we are making every effort to keep Edinburgh clean, but it is only with the cooperation of the public that we can make the capital a truly welcoming city. This initiative will tie in to our own Our Edinburgh campaign, which has been encouraging local pride in areas across the city to reduce littering, fly-tipping and dumping of trade waste.”

Urging organisations in Edinburgh to get involved and help cut out litter, David Barnes, Programme Manager for Litter & Fly tipping, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It is clear that litter picking and cleaning alone is not a long-term solution to tackling litter in Edinburgh. That’s why we’re calling on local organisations to take the lead and prevent litter at its source.

“I look forward to working with the fantastic businesses and organisations throughout Edinburgh and supporting them to keep the area clean, prosperous and looking great.”

Organisations in Edinburgh are encouraged to find out more and sign up to the initiative on Zero Waste Scotland's website or email


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