A CRACKDOWN on litter is being laun-ched by the Scottish Government ahead of the Common-wealth Games.

Ministers are developing a strategy to cut litter across the country before high-profile events such as Glasgow's Common-wealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014.

Early next year, a summit will bring together organisations with responsibilities for tackling litter to find the best ways to solve the problem, and look at its impact on the Scottish economy.

Led by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, the summit will also consider findings by Zero Waste Scotland into why people drop litter.

Mr Lochhead said: "Litter continues to let Scotland down and it is essential this level of positive action is taken to rid our country of this unnecessary eyesore.

"This is particularly important as we prepare to host world-renowned events like the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.

"It is staggering to think that on average almost four plastic bottles and three drinks cans can be found on every 100m of motorway and trunk roads alone in Scotland.

"The impacts of littering are far-reaching. It is bad for the environment, wild-life, and communities and wastes resources which should be recycled. It costs the taxpayer millions to clean it up.

"We need to change our attitude to litter and create a culture where it is viewed as completely unacceptable."

Zero Waste Scotland funds work to prevent littering and increase recycling, spending almost £1.8million this year.

Its director Iain Gulland said: "It's essential we change the way people view litter and waste in general.

"The items we think of as waste are valuable resources and when recycled, can create economic benefit.

"Embedding this kind of thinking into a new strategy for litter in Scotland will create an approach different from anything that's gone before."

rebecca.gray@ heraldandtimes.co.uk