Stop Litter Now! summit: Litter costs Europe Euro 13 billion per year

Littering ((Foto: ©Peter-Fenge /

Stirling, Scotland — Scotland’s charity for the environment, Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), has revealed the cost of Europe’s litter problem at the Stop Litter Now! summit being held in Brussels on Wednesday 10th December. Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Chief Executive, Derek Robertson, is president of the Clean Europe Network and has revealed the £10 billion (€13 billion) cost of litter across the EU, a figure which includes £78 million cost in Scotland.

The summit brings together a wide range of stakeholders from Non-Government organisations, the public sector and global private sector companies to identify the cause and propose solutions to Europe’s litter crisis. Delegates will hear evidence of the scale of the problem, and look for ways in which member states can work together to change behaviour and clear up. The conference will hear of the success of the Clean Up Scotland Campaign, which has drawn together a national coalition comprising the Scottish Government, local councils, private sector, voluntary sector organizations and the general public.

Over half a million voluntary cleaning actions

The Campaign has registered over half a million voluntary actions to clean up local communities across Scotland since its launch two years ago. Clean Up Scotland aims to make dropping litter as socially unacceptable tomorrow as drink driving is today, and wants to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe. To make recording that possible, the Clean Europe Network is working towards a common system of litter measurement across the

The cost of cleaning up litter in Scotland is £78m, however the impact of litter extends beyond that financial cost – with proven links between littered environments and significant health and environmental impacts. Too often, the most vulnerable of communities are unjustly affected by a lack of resources and unacceptable litter, hampering efforts to improve social justice outcomes. For example, areas of greatest environmental neglect have the worst mental and health outcomes.

To build a litter free Europe by 2030

Derek Roberston, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, President of the Clean Europe Network and Chair of the Stop Litter Now! summit said: „This £10bn cost equates to over £20 for every man, woman and child across the EU – a shocking statistic, and one which should startle policy-makers into long-overdue action. We welcome the European Commission’s waste directive reference to litter for the first time, that is a significant step forward, but there is still not enough emphasis on litter prevention.“

And he added: „In Scotland, we want our country to be the cleanest country in Europe by 2020 and build a litter free Europe by 2030. With 500,000 people in Scotland having already played their part in changing their local environment – our domestic Clean Up Scotland Campaign is genuinely showing the way ahead to the rest of Europe.“

Source: Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB)