Householders could face fines amid litter crackdown plans

The Circular Economy Bill, introduced on Wednesday, would allow fines to be imposed for repeat offenders using the wrong bins.

Householders could face fines amid litter crackdown plans under Circular Economy Bill iStock

Householders who repeatedly use the wrong bin for waste could face criminal charges under a new Bill introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

New legislation, introduced on Wednesday, could result in fixed penalty notices for those found to be transferring rubbish to the wrong bin.

It would criminalise breaches of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and ensure householders take “reasonable steps” to ensure they comply.

Households would receive a written warning as a first step before fines would be imposed if a person is found to cause “a nuisance” or “has been, or is or was likely to be, detrimental to any amenities of the locality”.

The Circular Economy Bill also includes restrictions on the disposal on unsold goods to prevent products going straight to landfill.

Penalties could be set similar to parking fines however repeat offenders risk being referred to the police.

The Bill also includes the introduction of charges on single-use coffee cups to encourage reusable alternatives.

Councils would also have greater power to crack down on drive-thru litter offenders and fly-tipping.

Introduced by Greens MSP and circular economy minister Lorna Slater, the Bill is said to target “lazy, anti-social behaviour” and the country’s growing “throw away culture”.

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said: “Tackling dumping should make a real difference to our communities, especially if councils have the right tools and powers they need.

“We are on a long journey to creating a greener, more environmentally sound future for Scotland and this as a positive step forward.”

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