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National Park joins forces with Argyll & Bute Council to clear astonishing amount of rubbish from the A82

124 bags of litter were cleared from one of Scotland’s most scenic tourist routes this week during a two-day Spring Clean.

Campaign partners from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority joined forces with a team from Argyll & Bute Council to tackle roadside litter head on and carry out a litter pick on the A82.

The event coincided with the launch of our Spring Clean 2019, when individuals, groups, schools and businesses across Scotland take action to clean up Scotland during April and May.

Armed with litter pickers and safety gear, the group covered the busy stretch of road between Duck Bay and Luss. Just some of the items that were cleared from the area included furry dice, underwear and, unfortunately bottles and bags filled with human waste.

In just under 7 miles, the team filled an astonishing 124 bags of litter. Forty-eight of the bags were filled with plastic bottles and cans that will be recycled, reducing the amount of litter being sent to landfill and highlighting the needless waste being generated by those who litter.

Roadside litter is a problem in many parts of Scotland, including the National Park, with 50 tonnes of litter cleared from Scotland's roadsides each month.  The A82 is one of the most scenic routes in the country but is sadly also a hot spot for litter. The presence of litter furthermore acts as a beacon for further littering, giving people ‘permission’ to discard more items. Given how difficult it is to remove, roadside litter can become an almost insurmountable problem for this reason. By giving this area a deep clean, the National Park Authority and the council hope to encourage people to be responsible with their litter as we come into the busy summer season.

Recently appointed Litter Prevention Manager for the National Park Authority, Nik Turner, has been instrumental in the campaign and also took part in the litter pick.  She said: “The A82 is one of the major routes into and through the National Park, and roadside litter not only creates a negative first impression, but it is also dangerous and expensive to clean up.

“The amount of litter we discovered on just one stretch of the A82 was shocking but by working with Argyll and Bute Council we want create positive change and make sure the National Park remains a place of outstanding beauty.

“We’re committed to tackling this issue and by working alongside our partners to take direct action; we want to drive home the message that it’s unacceptable to drop litter anywhere, least of all in a National Park.” 

It is illegal to drop litter, and anyone caught littering can be issued with a with a fixed penalty notice of £80 or could potentially be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £2,500.

Councillor Roddy McCuish, Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “It really is shameful that anyone would choose to leave litter anywhere, let alone at a location as beautiful as Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

“We are very fortunate to have such wonderful natural beauty across Argyll and Bute and we want to make sure we are all playing our part in keeping it that way. Events such as this roadside litter pick are a great way to highlight the problem and to help clear away some of the litter.

“I thank every member of council staff and the team from the National Park who took part, as well as our residents who get involved in action like this and those who discard of their litter responsibly.”

Our Roadside Litter Campaign Officer, Georgina Massouraki, said: “It is great to be working with Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority to help stem growing issues with litter in this much-loved beauty spot.

“Roadside litter is a particular challenge because of how difficult, dangerous and costly it is to remove, and the scale of this spring clean operation on the A82 is a perfect example of this. This is why, as part of Spring Clean 2019, we are bringing particular focus to our preventative roadside litter campaign, with a Week of Action 11-19 May.

“With half of the litter on Scotland’s roads coming from people eating and drinking in their vehicles, we hope that our campaign will help encourage them to do the right thing. Don’t abandon your litter on the roadside - just ‘Give your litter a lift, take it home!”.

Throughout April and May, the National Park Authority will be working in partnership with local authorities and communities across the area to give the National Park a spring clean and to make sure everyone puts litter exactly where it belongs – in the bin.

01 April 2019

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