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Tackling litter from source to sea in parks along the Clyde and Tay

27 July 2022

Over the last few weeks, as part of our Upstream Battle campaign, we’ve been to some popular places that people visit during the summer holidays – including Parklea Playing Fields in Port Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park, in Glasgow and Finlathen Park in Dundee.

At these visits we provided equipment for people to get involved with picking up litter and recording the types of litter found. We were joined by over 85 volunteers which included 46 adults and 39 children from a range of community groups, youth groups, businesses and visitors to the parks, many of whom had never taken part in a litter picking activity before.  

All the sites we visited are located next to a river.  With 80% of marine litter originating on land, we know it is important to tackle litter where it is being dropped at source before it reaches our rivers and waterways.

The types of litter found painted a picture of the main uses of the places. At Parklea Playing Fields, one volunteer collected 54 plastic drink bottles.  At Kelvingrove Park, reflecting its popular use for events, one volunteer collected 65 plastic cable ties. At Finlathen Park, the most common types of litter collected were plastic snack packets and soft drink containers, left by visitors who came to meet and socialise. Unusual litter recorded included a packet of false eye lashes, a hub cap and a garden spade.

There was a random prize draw at the end of each event where winners collected prizes including a sustainable picnic hamper and paddleboarding experience.  One participant commented “the kids had fun and it teaches them so much about the environment and benefits of litter picking.  My own teenager will love this gift.”

At the events, kids enjoyed completing the Upstream Battle Activity Sheet – including a wordsearch, colouring our litter characters, a quiz and an opportunity to share their thoughts on how they would like to see our rivers used in 10 years time.  You can download a copy at

It will be Source2Sea week of action from 3-11 September and you can get involved in tackling where litter is being dropped at source before it reaches our rivers and waterways. Details of events or information on how to organise your own event can be found at .

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