Keep Scotland Beautiful: Scottish Litter Survey 2022

The Scottish Litter Survey explores public perceptions and attitudes towards litter and littering behaviour.  This is an annual survey established in 2021, we worked in collaboration with Keep Scotland Beautiful to design this survey which covers the following areas:

  • Attitudes to litter
  • Changes in levels of litter
  • Impacts of litter
  • How to tackle litter

The survey was designed by the Diffley Partnership, and invitations were issued online using the ScotPulse panel. Results are based on a survey of 2,060 respondents,

Fieldwork for the 2022 wave was conducted between 18th – 22nd August 2022. Results are weighted to the Scottish population by age and gender.

We presented results from the survey at Scotland’s Local Environment Quality seminar 2022/23.

Key Takeaways

  • Litter remains a significant issue of public concern with 67% believing that litter is a problem in their local 1 area, and 87% that it is an issue across Scotland
  • 81% of respondents in the most deprived fifth of neighbourhoods report that they see litter ‘very’ or 2 ‘somewhat’ often, compared to 68% in the least deprived neighbourhoods.
  • The impact of litter on animals and the environment was deemed the most concerning consequence, 3 followed by the negative perception of an area created and its effects on local residents’ wellbeing.
  • There was majority support for all proposed measures to deal with littering with 4 in 5 people wanting to see more action taken to both prevent and tackle litter. There was an evident preference for preventative approaches, with nine in ten supporting educational and behavioural campaigns while 97% supported improving waste disposal facilities and 84% supporting strengthening fines and penalties.
  • 50% of people believed overall litter levels have stayed the same in the last 12 months. But, there has been a shift, with people perceiving litter in general, dog fouling, drinks bottles and cans, food containers, wrappers and packaging and single use drinks containers to be ‘much more’ or ‘somewhat more’ common

Key services used for project

  • Sampling
  • Quantitative
  • Research tools design
  • Report writing
  • Data visualisation
  • Questionnaire design

Key research method used for project

  • Survey methods


Keep Scotland Beautiful published this report:

littering-in-scotland-survey-2022-final-301122.pdf (