The Scottish Government is promising "bold action" on fly-tipping, with plans for fines to be more than doubled to £500.

And the same proposals could allow Ayrshire councils to fine residents who put recyclable items in the wrong bin

A new action plan proposes raising the current level of fixed-penalty notice for fly-tipping to £500 - with a suggestion from ministers that fines could be increased further "if needed".

The new move is part of a six-year strategy to tackle litter and fly-tipping, which sets out how national and local government can work together with businesses, communities and others to deal with the problem.

The flytipping problem became a major issue in Ayrshire during lockdown.

South Ayrshire Council reported a total of 637 incidents in 2022 -  but that was 185 less than in 2021.

North Ayrshire Council reported 6,747 incidents over the last three years, with 774 fines issued.

And this year, East Ayrshire Council revealed there had been 2,566 reports of fly-tipping over a three-year period with 59 fixed penalty notices issued.

The Scottish Government also plans to bring in new powers which could see vehicle owners fined if rubbish is dumped from their car or van.

In addition, councils could be given powers to issue fixed-penalty notices to householders who fail to meet a "duty of care obligation" when disposing of their waste, by for example putting recyclable items in the wrong bin.

Ministers have promised increased action to detect fly-tippers, and enhanced support for private landowners impacted by the problem.

Barry Fisher, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said the strategy is a "significant step forward in tackling the litter emergency".

While he said it "doesn't deliver everything we asked for" and will not "immediately reverse the decline we have recorded in cleanliness levels across Scotland", he added it is a "positive start".

He said: "There is no doubt urgent action is needed now and appropriate increased investment in the future is essential if we are to revitalise our communities and clean up Scotland."

Biodiversity and circular economy minister Lorna Slater said: "Scotland is a beautiful country and we all have a responsibility to keep it that way.

"This Government makes no apologies for taking bold action on tackling litter and fly-tipping, which is a blight on our streets, communities and countryside, as well as threatening our natural environment and wildlife.

"This strategy will drive further change in behaviours and the delivery of services.

"Enforcement is a key theme, and the strategy sets out robust commitments, including raising fixed-penalty notices for fly-tipping to £500 and considering increasing fines further if required."

She said the strategy is part of a wider package of measures to "tackle Scotland's throwaway culture", including a ban on some single-use plastic items and a commitment to introduce a charge on disposable coffee cups.

However, the Scottish Government has put its flagship recycling initiative, the deposit return scheme, for drinks cans and bottles on hold until October 2025 at the earliest, to coincide with the UK Government's scheme.