Local MSP, Jackie Baillie, has welcomed the launch of “Upstream Battle” a campaign which is running the length and breadth of the Clyde to tackle marine litter at source – raising awareness of the fact that 80% of litter in the sea comes from the land, and helping communities and businesses along the Clyde to take action.

The initiative, launched by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with RECOUP, comes as new research reveals that 88% of people across Scotland are concerned by the extent of litter pollution in our rivers.

The Upstream Battle campaign is backed by a range of high profile ambassadors, organisations and funders, including the renowned Blue Planet cameraman, Doug Allan. Jackie Baillie is encouraging everyone to get involved and take part in a range of activities which will be taking place across the entire length of the River Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills in the South of Scotland, to Helensburgh and Greenock at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde.

As the first ‘source to sea’ campaign of its kind in Scotland, Upstream Battle will feature three major distinct strands of activity co-ordinated by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which focus on raising awareness and inspiring action. This will include:

–      Significant community engagement, working with groups along the Clyde valley, making people aware of the problem of marine litter and how to keep the Clyde clean.

–      A ‘citizen science’ project to empower thousands of people in the Clyde Valley to clean up and identify the litter along the banks of their local river.

–      A schools programme to help educate young people about the path litter takes from source to sea

Jackie said:

“Marine litter can be a real blight on the communities on the edge of the river Clyde. Communities in my own constituency have found marine litter has had an impact on the local tourist trade.

“I am delighted that this campaign aims to educate people about the problems that litter can have on the Clyde and hope that we can start to tackle marine litter head on.”

Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan said:

“It’s hugely satisfying to see the part that the Blue Planet 2 series has played in heightening awareness of this devastating problem for the marine environment. I’m equally proud that it’s my native Scotland that’s setting the pace in recognising the scale of the problem, and taking practical steps to address it.

“It’s never been more important to look after our planet. What we do on land directly affects the health of our rivers and our seas and everything that lives in them. It’s time to get serious about the source of marine litter, and I’m delighted to be supporting Upstream Battle.”

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“Our research clearly shows that people across Scotland are deeply concerned by the amount of litter finding its way into our rivers and oceans, and now is the time to take action.

“This 18-month campaign will raise awareness of the scale of the problem and motivate people to play their part in tackling it. In the end, this is about changing behaviour – we need to think differently about litter and how we dispose of it. The evidence is clear – the drinks bottle or crisp packet discarded in our streets, has a fair chance of ending up in our river and polluting the ocean. That has to stop, it’s time to look after our rivers and protect our seas.”



Notes to Editors

So far, partner funders of the Upstream Battle campaign, which is managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP, include the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid Cooperative and RCP/bpi.

People can find out more about how to take part in the campaign by visiting www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/upstreambattle

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