Scottish Government publishes Scotland’s new Marine Litter Strategy

We’ve welcomed the publication of the new Marine Litter Strategy and look forward to continuing our fight to tackle marine litter from source to sea and along our coastline.

Catherine Gee, our Deputy Chief Executive, joined Minister Màiri McAllan at Willowgate Centre, Perth yesterday, 28 September, for the launch of Scotland’s strategy to tackle the problem of marine litter. Keep Scotland Beautiful is a longstanding supporter of a strategic approach to tackling marine litter, supporting the previous strategy published in 2014 and actively participating in the work of the steering group set up to oversee implementation. 

We have also delivered practical action on the ground to help tackle marine litter via our Upstream Battle Campaign, bring together the public and private sectors with local communities, as well as working collaboratively with NGOs like MCS to support their annual Great British Beach Clean.

We responded to the consultation on the new strategy earlier this year and are pleased to see so many of our points addressed.

Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, said, “Scotland’s marine environment is wonderfully rich and diverse, home to an abundance of species and a fantastic natural asset for our communities, way of life and our action against climate change and nature loss. The new Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland, has actions to both tackle the marine litter problem at source and after it’s entered our precious marine environment. I’d like to thank all the organisations and volunteers who have been involved and will continue be involved with keeping Scotland’s waters and marine environments clean and free from litter”

Catherine Gee, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said, ““We welcome the launch of the Marine Litter Strategy, and believe that together with partners and communities, all working to tackle this problem we have the power to turn the tide on marine litter. We are committed to reducing the impact of litter across the country, on land and in our seas. And we know that 80% of marine litter comes from inland and we must tackle the issue upstream.  Our research shows that litter levels continue to rise, with greater than ever numbers of sites being significantly impacted.  This is why our Upstream Battle campaign on the Clyde and the Tay is so important.  The campaign brings the global issue of marine litter, which we know so many people want to tackle, upstream, to communities who can stop it at source; preventing it from entering our waterways and ending up in our oceans, endangering our wildlife, polluting our ecosystems and damaging our coastal economies.”

We will ensure that the citizen science data our Anchor Groups and clean up groups collect feeds into the development of such strategies and will help us minimise coastal and marine litter. We're pleased to see Scottish Government listened and the strategy includes supporting and expanding our award-winning campaign Upstream Battle. We have a long way to go, but through collaboration we believe we will make a difference.

28 September 2022

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