Scottish environmental campaigners prepare for a week of action to tackle pollution in waterways

A plastic bottle floats in the river at Orton Longueville woods in Peterborough, which saw an increase in litter after lockdown lifted.
The campaign hopes to keep local rivers clean. Credit: ITV

Environmental campaigners in Scotland are preparing for a week of action to tackle pollution in waterways.

The Upstream Battle campaign by Keep Scotland Beautiful aims to spread awareness of marine litter and encourage people to understand the importance of keeping their rivers clean. 

Taking place from 20-28 January, volunteers are being asked to litter pick on land to prevent rubbish finding its way into rivers and seas.

The week of action follows the publication of two reports by Keep Scotland Beautiful in December 2023 - which explored the public’s perception of litter and its environmental impact.

It found that 90% of people believe that litter is an issue across the country.

There will be a litter picking event at the River Annan.

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “There is a litter emergency in Scotland, and this is causing damage to our rivers and seas.

"With 80% of marine litter coming from land, we need to take action now to address this issue and protect our waters.

"Our Upstream Battle campaign focuses on tackling litter and littering behaviour to prevent marine litter at source. By taking part in our Week of Action and conducting a marine litter survey, you can play a crucial part in tackling marine litter.”

Litter picking events are happening across Scotland throughout the week, including in Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, and Inverness.

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