As Scotland prepares to fully open its doors to the tourist season this week, Zero Waste Scotland is launching a new campaign urges visitors not to spoil the ‘natural beauty and wildlife’ by littering.
The publicly-funded organisation has launched a new campaign: Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way, which aims to inspire people getting out and about to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving litter, reminding them they should either bin litter or take it home.
The campaign, which highlights the beauty of Scotland’s lochs and mountains, city parks and country woodlands, is backed by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful.
As lockdown eases, Scotland’s tourism industry is set to reopen more widely from Wednesday 15 July.
Local businesses and the tourism industry in general across Scotland are counting on an increase in trade to support them through what are difficult economic times.
Scotland’s unspoilt scenery plays a vital role in tourism and supporting businesses, but this can only happen if areas of beauty remain in their original pristine state, ZWS says.
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
The partners behind the campaign jointly condemn 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!”
The Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way campaign will be rolled out across social media channels for five weeks across Scotland.
Partners and community groups are encouraged to download the free campaign toolkit, which includes digital tools and posters and are available for anyone who wants to get the message to daytrippers and staycationers to bin litter or take it home.
As well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence. Discarded waste can also be a danger to young children and animals; and it is estimated that 80% of marine litter washing up on our beaches started out on land.
Increase in litter
Perth-based Willowgate Activity Centre takes visitors on adventure days out to enjoy activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding and open water swimming.
The company runs regular community litter picks and nature education programmes, and recently reopened after being closed for 14 weeks due to coronavirus.
Emily Hamilton-Peach, assistant manager at Willowgate, said: “We regularly see litter that has floated down the River Tay from people leaving it in the park and this volume has recently increased.
“A lot of our customers come to us because they want to get close to nature, enjoy the sights and see the city from a different side, it can spoil it for them if the river and banks are left in a state. We try to pick it as we see it but there is only so much you can do.”
Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, 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.”
When you’re out an about enjoying all Scotland has to offer, please remember to keep safe, and follow the below tips:
- Face coverings in enclosed spaces
- Avoid crowded places
- Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
- Two-metre social distancing
- Self-isolate and book a test if you develop coronavirus symptoms