Lockdown Litter Heroes celebrated across Scotland
Find out more about our amazing ‘lockdown litter heroes’ below:
Despite his young age, Jack, aged 7 from Doune, has already been picking litter for a number of years. His desire to clean up began when he received a litter picker from his Great Granny. Since then he has been picking up litter from his local park and surrounding area on a regular basis.
“I like litter picking because I want to make sure that animals living near us have a safe place to live. I want Doune and everywhere to look clean. I think we shouldn’t litter because it makes a mess.”
At just nine years old, Lily Souter from Arbroath is an impressive force for action. Having noticed an increasing amount of litter around her local supermarket, she has spent more than 20 hours picking litter and raised over £2,000 for her local nature reserve at St Vigeans.
Lily then went on to work with her local Morrison’s store, persuading them to purchase three community bins so that people can do the right thing and bin their rubbish. Angus Council agreed to empty the new bins and Lily is now hoping to persuade other supermarkets to also donate community bins. To ensure people notice the new bins, Lily has also designed colourful bin stickers using the hashtag #SaveOurSeas.
“I wanted to clean up litter to save sea animals. I watched ‘My family & the Galapagos’ and they were litter picking and I thought that was a good idea.”
Arron Uytendhal from Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, works as a driver and guide for tour company Rabbies, has always cared about cleaning up Scotland and would carry out litter picks across Scotland during his breaks as well as in his hometown of Sauchie. During lockdown, he took this commitment one step further, getting a litter cart for his birthday and carrying out litter picks daily.
Not content with just cleaning up his local area, Arron also helped improve local greenspaces for the wider community by cutting grass and hedges, and planting flowers and vegetables, whilst motivating others to do the same.
To top it all off, he has recently started a local group named Keep Clackmannanshire Tidy.
“Litter is everyone's responsibility. We tried encouraging people not to drop litter, but it didn't work. Why don’t we try making picking up litter just something we all do?
“Getting out on the streets was a great opportunity to speak to people and one recurring theme I picked up on is the blame game. The blame was often pointed towards the council or the 'young yins' but nobody themselves would pick up litter because 'it wasn’t their job'.”
Paul Richardson is a keen kayaker from Renfrewshire. Paul is very aware of the damaging effect litter has when it gets into our waterways. Frustrated by how much litter he was seeing at his local reservoir, he removed a staggering 120 bags from the water and surrounding area.
Caught by the litter picking bug, Paul then moved his sights to other waterways and has made it a mission to remove the litter from several local rivers. Most recently he has been focusing his efforts on the White Cart in Paisley, where he has removed a phenomenal 200 bags of litter.
“The amount of litter than ends up in our rivers and waterways is staggering. I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing - once I started to notice litter I couldn’t stop.
“I think it’s important that we all do what we can to help keep Scotland beautiful. We are fortunate to live in a country blessed with so much natural beauty, and we can all easily make a difference. Litter picking from my kayak allows me to get to areas that others can’t reach, and on a nice day, it’s actually quite relaxing!”
Heather McLaughlin, Clean Up Scotland Campaigns Officer said:
“As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have unfortunately seen a minority of selfish individuals show no regard for our beautiful country, dropping their rubbish wherever they are instead of doing the right thing – putting it in a bin or taking it home. In fact our recent research shows that 29% of people think litter levels have got worse during lockdown.
All our heroes will receive a kit of goodies to help with with their future litter picks courtesy of our partner, Helping Hand Environmental.
Lindsay Richmond-Kearns, Communities & Partnerships Manager at Helping Hand Environmental commented:
“We’re delighted to be working again with Keep Scotland Beautiful to celebrate litter heroes who have been tackling lockdown litter. Without these passionate individuals who are committed to making a difference by picking up other people’s litter, local neighbourhoods across Scotland would look a lot worse. We need less people dropping litter in the first place.
“Helping Hand Environmental have been privileged to sponsor the Hero of the Month award in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful since 2014, rewarding over 60 Scottish Litter Heroes to date. We are proud to reward and thank volunteer efforts to Clean Up Scotland with sustainable litter picking equipment and Hero kits.”
If you know a litter picking hero near you, make sure you nominate them now.
19 August 2020