MORAY Council has issued a reminder that fixed penalties for dropping litter and fly-tipping have increased from today (Tuesday).
People who litter could now be fined £80, and anyone fly-tipping by dumping larger items such as fridges or washing machines could face a £200 fine.
The previous penalties were a maximum of £50 for each offence.
The move is part of a drive to tackle a problem which costs Scotland over £78 million a year and is backed by public opinion, according to research, with two-thirds of respondents in a national consultation coming out in favour of stiffer penalties for those flouting the law.
Litter can include everything from cigarette ends, drinks cans and bottles, crisp packets, take away food packaging and chewing gum, to apple cores and banana skins.
Fly tipping covers a bin bag of household rubbish to large quantities of domestic and commercial waste, household furniture and electrical items.
Councillor John Cowe, chairman of Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee, said: "Litter in our environment remains a chronic problem and one that can be so easily tackled – either bin litter or take it home when no bin is available.
"Scotland is a beautiful country and we all have a responsibility to keep it clean and litter-free.
"Litter ruins the look of our environment and is harmful to our communities and coastlines. It can be bad for business and tourism by giving people the impression that an area is rundown and dirty.
"I strongly believe that issuing penalties can help to improve our local environment. If we all do the right thing we can start to make a difference and enjoy cleaner, safer communities."