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Upstream Battle campaign scoops national award

Our Upstream Battle campaign received national recognition at the 2019 Scottish Resources Awards in Perth on 2nd October.

The campaign scooped the top prize in the ‘Best Communications and Campaign’ category for its work to tackle marine litter at its source.

Upstream Battle was launched in October 2018 to tackle the estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic that enters the sea each year.

The campaign, a multi-stakeholder partnership project, is the first of its kind in the UK to bring focus to marine litter’s journey from source to sea.

Focusing on the iconic river Clyde, and its 38 tributaries, including the rivers Kelvin, Calder, Leven, Avon and White/Black Cart, the campaign brings together the public, private and third sectors with communities, schools and people in a positive, collaborative partnership.

Paul Wallace, our Campaigns and Social Innovations Manager, commented, “This award follows our Upstream Battle Week of Action, 14-20 September, which saw thousands engage with our goal: to prevent litter on land reaching the sea. Overall, nearly 400 bags of litter were cleared near the River Clyde and surrounding waterways.

“We couldn’t have achieved this award without the support of all the anchor groups, funders, partners, supporters and colleagues who have made the campaign possible – thank you.”

Launched with the backing of the Scottish Government, funders, partners and supporters of UpstreamBattle include RECOUP, Scotmid Cooperative, Crown Estate Scotland, RPC/BPI, Scottish Water, Valpak, Plastics Europe, British Plastics Federation, Plastics Europe, NVT Group, Viridor, Cromwell Polyethene, the Packaging Federation as well as public agencies, the eight local authorities in the Clyde Valley and many charities and community groups.

Through a multi-faceted approach comprising raising public awareness, citizen science and education, Upstream Battle has sought to generate a deeper understanding of the impact plastic pollution is having on our eco-system.

The campaign has inspired three high profile figures from Scottish public life to act as campaign ambassadors: wildlife and BBC’s Blue Planet cameraman and author, Doug Allan; renowned actor Martin Compston of the BBC’s Line of Duty and international ocean rower and endurance sailor, Elaine Hopley, famous for sailing solo across the Atlantic in record time.

Our community ‘Anchor Groups’ have been essential in encouraging local action and spreading the message to stop marine litter at its source with their local communities, businesses and schools. Trusted by their local communities, each Anchor Group adopted a stretch of the river to monitor and clean up as part of our citizen science project.

These groups are now ambassadors for the campaign in their local communities, spreading the source to sea message and carrying out detailed surveys of stretches of the river. The data they collect will inform local litter prevention action plans in line with Scotland’s Marine Litter Strategy.

03 October 2019

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