Scotland Climate action and sustainable development

Zero Waste Scotland: join our litter prevention campaign

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

As Scotland takes another step back to normality, with restrictions easing and people able to get back out to enjoy our beautiful green spaces and countryside, from woodlands to city parks and beaches to mountains, Zero Waste Scotland is calling on the waste and resources sector to back its award-winning campaign Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep it that Way.

The campaign – has now returned in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Scottish Government.

The great outdoors has provided many benefits to people across Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic, from enabling friends and families to see each other safely, supporting mental health and allowing us to admire nature as we explore and enjoy walks, day trips and now staycations.

Alarmingly, however, recent research tells us that a quarter of Scots are seriously concerned about littering as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, and a third have reported seeing an increase since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Littering is an intrinsic problem and isn’t limited to one specific area or demographic.

It is estimated that 250 million items of litter are picked up every year, which equates to 50 pieces of litter per person in Scotland – and sadly it is estimated that half of all littered items could have been recycled.

Our campaign, featuring Scottish comedian Janey Godley, reminds Scots out enjoying themselves, “Ye’ve been telt!” to leave a green or rural space exactly the way you found it.

We are proud to be working with a broad range of partners including local authorities as we encourage Scots to take pride in our outdoor spaces and keep them litter-free.  Scotland really is stunning, and our wildlife is wonderful – litter is pollution to both, so it is important that we all work together to try and prevent it.

We know that everyone is desperate to take advantage of the wonderous opportunities mother nature offers in Scotland, and ask that they respect, protect, and enjoy our natural heritage when doing so by binning their litter or taking it home.

The Scotland is Stunning campaign is also leading the way for behaviour change ahead of the expected ban on certain problematic single-use plastic products. As Scotland moves away from single-use items and increases recycling through the new Deposit Return Scheme for drinks cans and bottles, this will ultimately result in less litter, making a good case for systemic change, and in the longer term, helping reduce the littering impacts often associated with visitors to the outdoors.

Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way is being rolled out across social media channels, national radio, and outdoor advertising.  We are encouraging you, whether you are a local authority, potential partners, businesses, or community groups to download the free campaign toolkit, which includes digital tools, posters, and a press release template.

Everyone can do their part in preventing litter – whether you’re on a countryside walk, visiting a beach or having a picnic in an urban park – our campaign simply asks people to bin their litter or take it home.

Find out more about our campaign and download the toolkit now at: www.managingourwaste.scot/litter.

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