Tackling Marine Plastic & Packaging

We are supporting Keep Scotland Beautiful and Recoup’s campaign to
raise awareness of marine litter and marine plastics along the River Clyde

This campaign aims to empower businesses, communities and schools in the Clyde Valley to help raise awareness of the issue of marine litter and stop packaging getting into the marine environment.

Clyde Valley 

The problem

Each year, around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters our seas, endangering marine wildlife and harming our environment. Research reveals that 88% of Scotland’s population are concerned by the extent of litter pollution in our rivers, and the European Commission has disclosed that an estimated 80% of marine waste originates from land. Therefore, this campaign fulfils a real environmental need.

Campaign aims

“Upstream Battle” aims to highlight the route that litter takes from land to sea and is the first “source to sea” campaign of its kind in Scotland. It will focus on the River Clyde and its tributaries, from its source in the Lowther Hills, to Helensburgh and Greenock at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde. Businesses from across the region are encouraged to get involved.

Key aims include:

  • encouraging businesses and producers to help raise awareness of and shift public attitudes to how they dispose of their packaging
  • engaging thousands of school children to learn more about the path plastics and packaging take from land through rivers and into the sea
  • partnering with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities in the Clyde Valley, and public agencies including Crown Estate Scotland, Scottish Canals and Scottish Water to raise awareness of the issue and take action

Ocean Litter

Valpak support

To support this campaign, we will be providing data, developing a methodology and carrying out research analysis. To date, we have input into the Citizen Science Expert Group, who are setting up how measurements of marine pollution will be conducted.

Anchor groups are being established across eight Local Authorities that border the River Clyde. These anchor groups will undertake the measurements and clean-up operations, and will consist of community groups, businesses and schools. The first tranche of measurement and clean up started in April 2019, and the data received will be reviewed by the Citizens Science Expert panel, then put into a format suitable for public dissemination.

We have received fantastic support for the campaign so far from a number of businesses including RCP/bpi, Valpak, Plastics Europe, British Plastics Federation, Cromwell Polythene, Viridor and The Packaging Federation.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful

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