Citizen Science

Citizen Science

If we want to get rid of marine litter in our seas and oceans we need to understand how, where and what types of litter are getting into our local waterways.

You can help us! We have designed a survey with accompanying guide to help you count the litter you find on a waterway near you.

We are building Scotland's first comprehensive river litter data-set. This data-set can help us to understand exactly what we need to do to target and support those responsible for littering to clean up their act, inform decision making and, ultimately reduce litter locally.


Get involved with three simple steps:

Step One: Identify a suitable area

  1. Download and read our Upstream Battle surveying guide and survey sheet
  2. Pick your site and decide on a date to conduct your litter count

Doing a litter pick too?

  1. Register your litter pick as an event on the Clean Up Scotland online portal 
  2. Contact your local authority to organise litter picking equipment for the event and arrange an uplift for the litter you collect
  3. Promote your event to your broader community to get others involved, tagging @KSBScotland @CleanUpScotland and using hashtag #UpstreamBattle #MakeLitterCount

Step Two: Record the litter

  1. On the day brief any additional volunteers on how to do the survey and on any health and safety requirements
  2. Count and record any litter found in your survey sheet

Step Three: Share what you find

  1. Spread the news that you got involved and what you found in your newsletters, blogs and on your social media accounts. Tag in @KSBScotl and @CleanUpScotland and use the hashtag #UpstreamBattle #MakeLitterCount
  2. Upload the results of your survey to the online portal or email them to upstreambattle@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

By taking part, you are helping us paint a picture of the litter problem at a local level. This means we can act before it's too late; before it reaches our seas and oceans.


For any further information on organising the litter pick component of your event please use our Clean Up Scotland information pack. This pack will guide you in detail through the steps involved in organising your own successful litter pick. 

If you have any questions get in touch by email at: upstreambattle@keepscotlandbeautiful.org


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