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Uddingston Grammar School pupil presented with top environmental award

Bothwell boy recognised for efforts to keep Scotland beautiful

Ellis McNeil, aged 12 from Bothwell, has received the our Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of his ongoing efforts to protect his local environment. 

Ellis is closely linked with Brighter Bothwell and Uddingston Pride, both of which are part of our Beautiful Scotland campaign, and was an active member of the Eco Committee at his former school, Bothwell Primary. Ellis is leading on his own ‘Last Straw’ campaign, which is encouraging people to consider using fewer straws and switch to paper straws instead of plastic.

As part of his campaign, Ellis presented his ideas at an assembly in Bothwell Primary School and has already visited five local hospitality outlets to discuss their use of plastic straws. Ellis will now be working with the Eco Coordinator of Uddingston Grammar to try and link the primary and secondary schools together to continue raising awareness of his campaign.

Ellis was nominated for the award by one of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Beautiful Scotland judges who was very impressed by his efforts whilst visiting Brighter Bothwell in August. Ellis told the three visiting judges about his campaign around single-use straws and how the Brighter Bothwell group was supporting him in his endeavours to spread the message more widely.

Ellis commented:

“Watching the legendary Blue Planet 2 television programme, I have learned about the risks to our oceans, from our own irresponsibility. I became very concerned about the damage done by plastic and have started a campaign to make Bothwell a plastic-free area. My first aim is to encourage people to use paper straws instead of plastic straws.”

Ellis was presented with the award at Brighter Bothwell’s annual event to thank volunteers for their support and celebrate success in Beautiful Scotland 2018. The award is supported by The Helping Hand Company who provide each Hero with a Clean Up kit – including a new Scottish litter picker and handy hoop. An image of Ellis and the award can be found here.

Heather McLaughlin, Community Project Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful presented the award. She said:

“At such a young age, it is fantastic to see Ellis so enthusiastic and committed to protecting his local environment. His campaign has managed to reach large numbers of pupils, and parents, at both primary and secondary schools.

“There are many people, of all ages, across Scotland just like Ellis, working hard to clean up and green up their local area. Clean Up Scotland helps to support their efforts and recognises the contributions made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”

The Clean Up Scotland campaign encourages everyone to get involved by visiting our webpages to find out how you can help with the campaign’s ambition to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe.

24 September 2018

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