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Zero Waste Scotland launches litter campaign

Zero Waste Scotland is launching a new campaign, highlighting the country’s natural beauty and wildlife, urging visitors not to litter as the country opened its doors to the tourist season this week (15 July) as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease.

The campaign, entitled ‘Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep it That Way’, aims to inspire people getting out and about to enjoy Scotland’s natural beauty without leaving litter, reminding them to either bin litter or take it home.

Scotland is Stunning campaign imageThe partners behind the campaign, the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful, have jointly condemned scenes of abandoned campsites, burned out trees and human waste, as well as litter, as being hugely damaging to Scotland’s reputation.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland Chief Executive, said: “People are understandably keen to enjoy everything Scotland has to offer as the summer holidays stretch out in front of us. With tourism re-opening in Scotland and many areas – from hills and lochs in rural Scotland, to city parks – expecting an increase in visitors, we want to remind people to bin their litter or take it home.

“This opportunity to get outdoors is great news. If you are camping, exercising, having a barbecue or just enjoying the scenery, have fun, but remember to bin what you don’t need or take it with you. Go home with happy memories and leave the place litter free so others can do the same. We know Scotland is stunning, let’s keep it that way!”

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, also commented: “We welcome this new campaign highlighting the beauty of Scotland and all it has to offer. Litter levels across Scotland are unacceptable, and in many places are getting much worse. Alongside this campaign we will continue to offer support to all those who have already stepped up to tackle this problem in their own communities with litter clean ups and projects to improve and protect the places they care about.”

Local businesses and the tourism industry across Scotland are counting on an increase in trade to support them through the difficult economic situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The country’s scenery plays a vital role in the tourism industry, but this relies on both businesses and consumers helping to preserve the environment.

Since the end of May, Nicola Sturgeon has eased Scotland’s lockdown measures with caution, with the latest phase seeing the reopening of the tourism industry. During lockdown, the UK as a whole has seen an increase in irresponsible environmental behaviours, with the Countryside Alliance finding in England there has been a 300 per cent increase in fly-tipping during lockdown. England’s Environment Agency (EA) has also urged the public to be vigilant on waste crime during the pandemic, after fly-tipping figures surged in April.

Last year, Zero Waste Scotland announced that the government’s proposed deposit return scheme – the regulations for which became law in May – which would see a 20 pence redeemable deposit placed on a variety of drinks containers, could see a 90 per cent reduction in litter.

Scotland has also made efforts to tackle single-use cup waste, one of the most littered items in Scotland, proposing late last year to introduce a charge on the cups to discourage customers from using them.

The campaign can be followed on social media at #BinYourLitter. To download the campaign toolkit or to read further details about the campaign, you can visit Zero Waste Scotland’s website.

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