A “minority” of irresponsible consumers are ruining the road into an Angus town, it has been claimed.
Tonnes of waste, including plastic cups, paper bags and discarded takeaway items, are cleared from the Westway Retail Park in Arbroath every year.
Retired civil servant Kevin Murray compared the situation unfavourably to other European countries.
He said: “Having travelled through Italy, Croatia and various European countries where litter is rarely seen, I am upset on arrival back in the UK at the way we treat our country.
“It doesn’t give a good impression of Arbroath.”
The 56-year-old took photos of litter he found near KFC and McDonald’s this week, and placed the blame on irresponsible consumers.
“I do think enough is being done to clear it on the council’s part,” he added.
“The minority spoil it for the majority.”
Councillor David Fairweather, whose ward is Arbroath West and Letham, admitted the problem had been going on for some time and accused those responsible of endangering wildlife and damaging the reputation of the town.
He said: “These people seem to have no thought about anyone but themselves.
“Not only is it a blight on our town but they seem to be unaware of the effect it could have on the environment and the local wildlife.”
However, he praised the efforts of the fast food outlets themselves to try to minimise the mess.
“We have had a lot of problems with littering in the Westway Retail Park but, to their credit, they have bins and dedicated cleaning staff.
“It’s just about making people aware that littering isn’t acceptable.”
One tactic Angus Council is using to tackle the problem is its prevention project Pride of Place, in association with Zero Waste Scotland.
The first stage of the project will evaluate the amount and types of litter in problem areas, such as the area around Westway Retail Park, known as West Links, and will run until March.
Claire McInally, business manager at the Westway McDonald’s, organises regular community litter picks and staff clean up litter in the area at least three times a day.
She said: “It’s unfortunate that there are still some people who think it is acceptable to drop litter on Scotland’s roads and railways.”