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 almost 3,000 people from Highland 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