SNP “legalising littering” as 135,000 flytipping incidents reported but only 34 make it to prosecutors

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie has warned that the Scottish Government has effectively “legalised littering” and called for people who illegally dispose of their waste to “face the full force of the law” as it emerged that 134,974 reports of flytipping were flagged to local authorities in the past two years, but only 34 were referred to the Procurator Fiscal.  

Freedom of information requests submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats also revealed that:

  • Glasgow City Council reported the highest number of incidents with 48,539, followed by Edinburgh with 25,717.
  • Across Scotland, just 1,879 fixed penalty notices have been issued since September 2019. 
  • Only 8 local authorities had passed cases to the Procurator Fiscal. 

Willie Rennie said: 

“Not only does flytipping spoil the appearance of our beautiful country, it can be devastating for crops and animals.   

“From remote beauty spots to busy cities, these figures show that this is a widespread issue, yet only a tiny fraction of cases ever result in a fine or a trip to court. 

“With refuse collections disrupted and tips closed for long stretches, it’s no surprise that this has been a particular issue since the pandemic hit. The Scottish Government has effectively legalised littering on an industrial scale. 

“We need to see local authorities using the powers at their disposal to clamp down on this disgusting behaviour and ensure that repeat offenders especially feel the full force of the law.  

“Scottish Liberal Democrats also want to see increased support for farmers and those who bear the brunt of flytipping to help them with the clear up costs. This should use the proceeds of a new restitution order which hits offenders’ pockets hard.” 

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