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Source To Sea week kicks off with Silent Disco Litter Pick

13 September 2021

For more photos  from the event visit the Facebook event page.

Our My Beach Your Beach and Treasure Your River campaigns came together to organise a litter pick with a musical twist, clearing litter from Portobello beach and raising awareness of how litter left on land can make its way into the sea and pollute our oceans.

A band of 18 enthusiastic dancing volunteers popped on headphones, wielded their litter pickers and danced the litter away on the beach and prom.

They removed lots of small plastics, including cigarette butts, as well as broken glass and a fair few bits of clothing left in the sand.

At the end of the event, we were all treated to gelato and refreshments from Oscar's Gelato on the prom.

The event was co-organised with Keep Porty Tidy, who regularly go out to blitz litter from the prom and beach at Portobello.

This summer’s pre-season litter survey, carried out by Keep Porty Tidy for the My Beach Your Beach campaign, found over 110 items of litter along a sample 100m stretch of beach and prom. The majority of this litter was drinks and food related rubbish, highlighting the need for people to bin their ‘on the go’ food packaging or take it home.

Greta Elliott, from Keep Porty Tidy, said: “The silent disco litter pick was a lot of fun and a great way to get people involved in keeping our beautiful beach clean and litter free. Hopefully it will help encourage others to do the right thing and make sure their rubbish ends up in the bin rather than polluting the beach.”

The silent disco litter pick comes at the bathing season draws to a close on 15 September. The bathing season marks the busy summer months when designated bathing waters experience high visitor numbers and the bathing water is monitored by SEPA to provide daily water quality forecasts for those entering the water.

Our My Beach Your Beach campaign aims to support SEPA in improving bathing water quality at a number of Scotland's beaches, including Portobello, Fisherrow Sands and Kinghorn Harbour beach on the East coast, as well as Ayr, Troon, Irvine and Saltcoats/ARdrossan on the west coast. It does this by encouraging people to take better care of the sand and sea.

Treasure Your River, created by environmental charity HUBBUB and delivered by Keep Scotland Beautiful, has been targeting litter from source to sea along the River Forth this summer.

Georgina Massouraki, Campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Beach litter is a huge environmental issue, not only blighting our communities but also washing out to sea, where it breaks down into microplastics, harming wildlife and marine ecosystems. This silent disco litter pick was a fun way to draw attention to this issue and hopefully reach a wider range of people.

“Our My Beach Your Beach campaign is designed to help improve the quality of bathing waters by asking people to bin their litter, bag and bin their dog poo and not to feed the gulls. We have been delighted to work with Keep Porty Tidy on the campaign in Portobello and hope that beach users will take notice and be more thoughtful about the impact they can have on the sand and sea.”

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