Conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful, the study was carried out across 120 sites in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Renfrewshire and Inverness.
According to the survey, cigarette butts and gum made up the bulk of the litter count. Other types of litter included paper (9%) sweet wrappers (6%), soft drinks cans (6%), plastic soft drinks bottles (6%) and cigarette packets (4%).
The study covers the period since the Scottish government launched its new approach “Towards a Litter Free Scotland” in 2014. In the same year, the carrier bag charge was introduced.
Jane Bickerstaffe, chief executive of INCPEN, said: “Two years on from the introduction of the carrier bag charge in Scotland and numerous campaigns to tackle litter, the problem is as bad as ever. This charge is not reducing the amount people litter. The study suggests that more charges and deposits on items such as disposable coffee cups and drinks bottles, will not make a difference. Unlike the bag charge which is avoidable if you take your own bag, imposing new charges would simply place additional financial strain on hard working families.”
Bickerstaffe added: “We have to look at fresh approaches to cleaning up our towns and countryside. There are many good local campaigns and initiatives but what’s needed is a long term national programme that makes it socially unacceptable to litter anything. INCPEN recommends that governments look at how we change the behaviour of litterers, so they are proud of their environment and put all rubbish in a bin or take it home.”
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