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Caithness News Bulletins April 2007

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27 April 07
Drop food-on-the-go litter; pick up a 50 fine!

The Highland Council and Keep Scotland Beautiful jointly launched a new 'Keep Scotland Tidy' campaign to tackle food-on-the-go litter this week.

The latest Keep Scotland Tidy campaign aims to emphasise the problem of food-on-the-go litter - takeaway packaging, drinks cartons and confectionary wrappers - and to highlight that dropping such litter is a crime which can result in the perpetrator being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for 50.

With half of all city and town-centre sites surveyed in Scotland in 2005-06 being blighted by fast food and confectionary litter, it seems that although food-on-the-go may be the quickest way to satisfy those hunger and thirst pangs, the effects of tossing away your leftovers and wrappers are often slow to disappear. And when the average plastic film container takes 20-30 years to break down it is no wonder that so many open spaces provide a stark reminder of people's throw away attitude.

Programme Manager, for Keep Scotland Beautiful, Donna Niven, said: "We are urging people not to drop the left over food or packaging on the ground as part of this Keep Scotland Tidy campaign for a number of reasons. Not only can the visual impact of food-on-the-go litter be bad for business and tourism, it can present risks to animals and children, and it also costs The Highland Council 2.5million a year, which could be spent on other worthwhile services.

"The truth is that dropping fast food litter - whether late at night after a few drinks and a pizza, or during the day time following lunch time munching - is a crime for which you could be fined up to 50. And with more and more fixed penalty notices being issued for dropping litter there is more chance of you being caught."

Brian Donnet, Highland Council's Principal Service Support Officer with TEC Services said: "Litter relating to food-on-the-go is a problem throughout the Highlands. We welcome this opportunity to remind people to put their litter in a bin and have been playing our part by visiting all fast food businesses in the area. The owners have been very supportive of the campaign and many of them have agreed to display posters on their premises."

Large scale adverts will be appearing in Scotland's major towns and cities to remind people that a Fixed Penalty Notice for 50 could be issued if they are caught dropping fast food litter. While food-on-the-go campaign posters can be downloaded free from www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org