A campaign to support communities in their effort to tackle litter - one of the most commonly perceived problems affecting Scottish neighbourhoods and communities - gets underway this weekend.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead praised the efforts of more than 58,000 people who have already committed to taking part in the National Spring Clean, which runs from 1 April to 31 May, as he launched it at Portobello near Edinburgh (Thursday 29 March).
The state of Scotland’s litter is not going to change overnight but YOU can make a difference – National Spring Clean, organised by leading environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, aims to empower 200,000 individuals, communities, businesses and youth groups who want to get together to clean up their favourite parts of Scotland. United, we can turn the tide on Scotland’s litter, and be proud of our country again.
With 2014 fast approaching, when the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, Homecoming and the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn will be celebrated in Scotland, everyone has a responsibility to ensure Scotland is as beautiful as possible.
Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, said: “Every Scot can play their part in keeping our communities litter free.
“The National Spring Clean campaign is a great way of encouraging everyone to play their part in keeping our recreational areas and countryside clean. This annual campaign continues to grow; last year more than 97,000 people gave up their time to pick up more than 1,000 tonnes of litter between them. That highlights the scale of the problem we much strive to tackle. The commitment of each volunteer is to be commended and I would urge people and communities across the country to get involved to help keep Scotland beautiful."
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “It is up to each and every one of us to take a responsibility for our actions, and it’s simple to change our behaviour – put litter in the bin or nearest recycling point, and take part in National Spring Clean which is happening between 1 April and 31 May. National Spring Clean is a fun, free way to clean up the litter in your favourite part of Scotland, whether that be a hillside, beach, your local park or your own street.”
Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Keeping our communities clean and tidy is extremely important. Litter is an unnecessary eyesore which can spoil our neighbourhoods and make them a less pleasant place to live. Cleaning up Scotland’s litter is very expensive and waste is a valuable resource when disposed of correctly. By putting a stop to litter and recycling more, Scotland’s economy and environment can benefit.
“National Spring Clean makes a clear call to everyone to care for their own patch of Scotland by stopping littering once and for all or taking part in organised clean-ups. With major events set to take place in Scotland in coming years that will shine a spotlight on our nation, let’s ensure we all do our bit to make Scotland a place we can all be proud of.”
To help groups get started, Keep Scotland Beautiful provides group organisers with free clean up kits, and they can also request additional assistance from their local council. Sign up at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/springclean
- Keep Scotland Beautiful is one of Scotland’s leading environmental charities. It works across Scotland, from Shetland to the Scottish Borders, cleaning and greening up communities, schools and businesses, and has been doing so since 1970. We work in partnership with all 32 of Scotland’s Local Authorities, 700+ community groups, 3,850 of Scotland’s primary and secondary schools, over 100 businesses and have empowered in excess of 200,000 individuals to assist in community action. Keep Scotland Beautiful is a committed partner of Government and shares in the government’s vision for Scotland to be a cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable country. Further information can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org
- Zero Waste Scotland is the new programme created by the Scottish Government to support delivery of its Zero Waste plan. Zero Waste Scotland has been created to provide a one-stop-shop for support and advice to individuals, businesses and local authorities in order to help them reduce waste, recycle more and use natural resources more efficiently. It will integrate the activities of WRAP Scotland, Waste Aware Scotland, Keep Scotland Tidy, Remade Scotland, Envirowise in Scotland, NISP in Scotland, and some programmes delivered by the Community Recycling Network for Scotland.
- The Scottish Government's latest household survey (2009/2010) identified that 24 per cent of respondents said litter lying around was very or fairly common in their area: www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2011/08/17105013
- Keep Scotland Beautiful is grateful to the support provided by all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities throughout the National Spring Clean campaign. Support of their local communities often includes the disposal of litter & recyclables collected, the loan of litter picking equipment, and staff support. There is a dedicated section on the National Spring Clean website with local authority contact details.
- Scottish local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that public land and roads within their area are kept free from litter and refuse, as far as is practically possible. Full details of how they, and other public and private land owners, must comply with this cleansing duty are contained in the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse issued under section 89 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (http://www.littercode.org/).
- Greggs is supporting National Spring Clean by providing free edible treats for participants.
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