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Scotland's litter emergency: A conversation we needed

Our second online National Conversation took place this week, with more than 100 people registering to hear from a panel of inspiring people determined to tackle Scotland’s litter emergency.

We recently published two reports – Scottish Litter Survey and How clean are our streets? – which highlighted both the severity of the litter issue across the country and the strong desire for change.

Furthermore, the reports found that 90% of people agree that litter is a problem across the country, while 70% of people believe that litter is a problem locally. Encouragingly, the reports also found that 85% of people agree that they want to see more efforts to prevent litter in their area.

These statistics provided the foundation for this week’s National Conversation: Tackling litter, and we were grateful to have such a fantastic panel of speakers offering their time, insights and experiences for our audience.

With our Chief Executive Barry Fisher chairing the event, broadcaster Sean Batty provided the keynote address.

We then had presentations from Decathlon store manager Ryan Wood, environmental ambassador Mike Scotland, Director of Low Impact Living (LIL) Louise Hastie and environmental and ethical influencer Laura Young.

Alongside the brilliant presentations we also had time for a very brief Q&A with our panel, covering topics such as single-use vapes, the mental and physical benefits of litter picking on top of helping your community, and the big difference small efforts can have.

Barry Fisher, our Chief Executive, said: "Our second National Conversation was a fantastic event and I’d like to thank Sean, Ryan, Mike, Louise and Laura for their time. Their experiences and positive attitude to tackling litter are an inspirational to us all.

"Whilst we know Scotland has a litter emergency, we also know how many people not only want positive action but are taking that action themselves, and it was great to hear from some of those people at this event.

“I know I’ve been inspired by this conversation, from all the positive action and interaction in the chat during the event and I hope everyone who attended has been inspired too. We hope that this week’s conversation kick starts further conversations across our country and leads to more collaboration as we head towards our annual Spring Clean: a united effort will help us address Scotland’s litter emergency.”

Our series of online national conversations continues with the next focusing on restoring biodiversity and nature on Tuesday 30 April.

If you missed the event, you can watch the entire conversation on our YouTube channel.

If our conversation inspired you to take action, why not join #SpringCleanScotland, taking place from 15 March to 28 April, to play your part in tackling the litter emergency.

24 January 2024

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