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Zero Waste Scotland rolls out anti-littering campaign in Aviemore

Zero Waste Scotland has announced a campaign in collaboration with the Scottish Government, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Highland Council in an attempt to reduce littering in the Highland town of Aviemore.

The campaign, Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way, was rolled out yesterday and will see the three organisations joining forces with local businesses in order to discourage visitors from littering.

AviemoreThe tourist hotspot has seen a surge in littering after Covid restrictions were lifted last summer, largely due to increased footfall, with Aviemore experiencing an inpouring of sightseers since the guidelines were relaxed.

The initiative will involve the introduction of promotional signage, both physical and digital (ranging from billboards to social media posts), targeted at daytrippers and holidaymakers.

The signage will be predominantly located around Aviemore and nearby Loch Morlich, with the initiative also running a focused social media campaign centred on Aviemore and a 20-mile radius to capture those visiting or passing through the area.

The campaign has already been implemented in other parts of the country and was initially launched to accompany the reopening of the tourism industry last year.

It intends to raise awareness of the harmful effects of littering, prompting visitors to alter their attitudes to waste, aiming to minimise the amount of rubbish left behind in natural parks and settings as a result.

89 per cent of Scottish people already consider littering a local issue, and one-third have observed a surge in littering since the start of the pandemic, according to research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland.

On the project, Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, commented: “We’ve had an amazing response to the launch of the second phase of our Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way anti-littering campaign but there is still work to do.

"Aviemore is one of Scotland’s best loved destinations, with its lochs, forests, and mountain trails, and we must do everything we can to protect it.”

“We are asking anyone visiting Aviemore to plan ahead before setting off. Pack a bag for rubbish, bring reusable containers and cutlery, and please bin your litter or take it home to dispose of.

“Together we can ensure Aviemore stays stunning.”

Councillor Bill Lobban, Highland Council convener and local member, said: “We warmly welcome the return of visitors to Aviemore here in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park but we simply ask everyone to ‘leave no trace’.

"Highland Council has increased bins and waste capacity across the Highlands for the coming season, as well as extra uplifts to help keep the Highlands stunning. If bins are full, please take all your rubbish home.

“We support the targeted approach from Zero Waste Scotland in Aviemore this week and see it as an opportunity to educate and change behaviours.”

"Enjoy the Highlands, make memories and leave nothing behind other than your footprints.”

“Scotland wide we face a litter emergency, and our countryside, wildlife and people urgently need a change in behaviour to Keep Scotland Beautiful.

“Litter ruins views and is harmful to people, wildlife and the environment.”

Emma Leask, Sector Manager, Litter and Flytipping Prevention, at Zero Waste Scotland, commented: “Aviemore is a tourist hub in one of the Scotland’s most beautiful regions."

"As a result, it is one of the most popular locations in the Highlands and is ideally placed to help us share our helpful and positive litter prevention messages while visitors are enjoying all that Scotland has to offer.”