Keep Scotland beautiful by organising a local litter-pick

From local streets to sandy beaches, Scots are being encouraged to get litter in the bag with litter picks in their area.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Roll up your sleeves...from local streets to sandy beaches, Scots are being encouraged to get litter in the bag in communities across the country. (Pic: Keep Scotland Beautiful)

Zero Waste Scotland is supporting Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society with funding to provide individuals, couples, families and small groups with litter-picking and survey kits to help keep Scotland stunning.

Designed for small groups and with social distancing in mind, the kits have everything required to tackle wrappers, packets and anything else strewn near areas people live or like to spend time in.

Zero Waste Scotland is now calling on people to do their bit, in-line with Scottish Government outdoors advice.

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A world heritage site view....is marred with the empty bottles found along the banks of the River Forth in South Queensferry. (Pic: Marine Conservation Society)

Iain Gulland, chief executive, said: “Whether it has been our local streets, parks, woodland, countryside or coastline, recent months have highlighted how valuable our environment is to so many of us and why it needs to be kept that way.

“The work of Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society in reducing litter is hugely important for us as individuals, enjoying where we are, and for the well-being of our wildlife.

“It is a shame that these projects have to take place and a small number continue to drop litter. We urge people to get involved and help to keep the areas they hold dear clean and precious.”

The funding will help to provide additional clean-up kits, via community-based hubs, as well as survey kits, with online support and guidance available from Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society on how to carry these out safely.

Clean up...Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland's chief executive, is leading the call for people to take action. (Pic: Mark Ferguson)

They’ll also be sharing the project’s results.

Mairi Gougeon, Natural Environment Minister, said: “Our natural environment is vital to allow biodiversity to thrive and flourish.

“Litter is harmful to wildlife and the marine environment so these kits from Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society will help keep our communities litter-free and protect our natural world.

“Everyone needs to take responsibility for protecting our environment.

Life's a beach...but, sadly, our coastline is littered with rubbish people have thoughtlessly dumped while enjoying the great outdoors. (Pic: Marine Conservation Society)

“Littering and damage to our natural surroundings is completely unacceptable and there is no place for this type of anti-social behaviour anywhere in Scotland.

“I’d like to sincerely thank all those who volunteer to collect rubbish from our beaches, countryside and green spaces.

“The litter data collected by clean-ups is vitally important to help develop long-term solutions.”

Tara Proud, Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager at the Marine Conservation Society, hopes Scots will rally to the call.

She said: “One way that you can help protect Scotland’s stunning coastlines and vulnerable sealife is through litter-picking and surveying.

“When you take part in our beach litter survey, the data you collect helps us to push for a green recovery with policies which put environmental issues at the forefront.

“Get a small group of friends and family together for your own beach clean.

“If you can’t get to the coast, why not try our new Source to Sea Litter Quest, tracking what’s littering our parks and streets and flowing to the sea.”

Harry Fisher, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, also welcomed the new initiative.

He said: “Our polling shows that 29 per cent of people believe that litter has got worse during lockdown.

“We know that people across the country want to take action to change that.

“This funding will allow us to triple the number of Clean Up Scotland community litter picking hubs we support across Scotland, strengthening the capacity of communities to survey and take action on litter in their own neighbourhoods.”

The litter-picks follow on from the Scotland is Stunning, Let’s Keep It That Way campaign delivered by Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Scottish Government, during July and August.

The project highlighted the country’s natural beauty and wildlife and urged visitors not to spoil it by littering.

The partnership runs until November 8 but there is no time limits for taking part in clean-ups.

More details on how to access the kits are available on the websites at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org or www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch.

Protecting our environment

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change.

Using evidence and insight, its goal is to inform policy and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic and social benefits of a circular economy.

The not-for-profit environmental organisation is funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is the leading charity for Scotland’s environment.

It works with people across Scotland to help combat climate change, reduce litter and waste and protect and enhance places we care for.

The charity supports the ambitions of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

To find out more about its work visit www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org.

The Marine Conservation Society campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries and protection of marine life.

Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.

MCS also provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the Good Fish Guide as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as MCS Beachwatch. To find out more, visit www.mcsuk.org.