Litter Heroes in Record Clean Up
We have revealed the four award winners recognised for their heroic efforts in our annual Spring Clean.
The winners shone in our Clean Up Scotland events which saw a record total of 45,000 people taking part.
The Spring Clean Hero Awards recognises individuals, community groups, businesses and other organisations that have made an impressive contribution to cleaning up their local communities.
The four award categories were: Next Generation Hero Award; Most Transformational Award; ‘Working Across the Ages Award’ and '30 Days of Spring Clean' Award.
The Next Generation Hero award for young people went to 9-year-old Marc O’Neil from Glasgow, a regular litter picker in his local Milton area, who was nominated by Glasgow City Council’s Councillor Jacqueline McLaren. Marc said, on receiving his award: “I really care about the street and community I live in so I like to do my bit in cleaning it up each day with my mum. I wish other people would help with my goal to keep Milton beautiful!”.
South Lanarkshire community group Friends of the Calder were the recipients of the Most Transformational Award. The group prioritise changing attitudes towards litter as well as reducing its' prevalence in the community. They host litter picking events and link with local groups, businesses and elected representatives to inspire the community to make the area cleaner and more natural.
Friends of the Calder Chairperson Susan Lindner-Kelly said, “These are people not looking for any credit – just doing the right thing. And that’s what’s so lovely about, ‘the biggest change.’ People want better for the woods and their town, so they take action to make it happen. They aren’t just complaining, they are doing and it’s quite wonderful.”
The Working Across the Ages award, recognising those that engage with participants of different age brackets, went to Dumfries and Galloway Eco Warriors. Founded by Laura Howieson, Fiona Rogerson and Lottie Glover, the group started in January 2018 and now have over 1,000 supporters. They do two Clean Ups each month that can have between 20-100 participants. They clean all over Dumfries and Galloway with a particular emphasis on the region’s great beaches.
In addition to Clean Ups they provide talks in schools and with local groups to engage young people with the issues of plastic pollution, sustainability and the impact to marine life.
Fiona Rogerson, co-founder of Dumfries and Galloway Eco-Warriors said, “The main point to the group was to clean up our coastlines but it is so much more than this. We bring communities together, promote positive mental health, exercising, and socialising whilst learning. It brings us the 'feel good factor'. We all want to make a difference - however large or small this maybe - and empower others to do the same and join us."
Our principal partner for the April and May events was Scotmid Cooperative. Scotmid Chief Executive John Brodie praised the winners: “Congratulations to all the Hero award winners – their efforts merit special recognition. Our core purpose is to serve our communities and improve people’s everyday lives and this initiative certainly fits our values."
"It is really pleasing to see so many people willing to go the extra mile in order to make their part of Scotland more beautiful and improve their overall local environment.”
We encourage everyone to get involved in the Spring Clean in 2020.
Making a splash to care for our beaches
Our successful #MyBeachYourBeach campaign has been relaunched and expanded following a clean up on Portobello beach on World Ocean's Day.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of pollution and its impacts on water quality - from dog fouling and litter, to feeding gulls.
The beach communities will see a range of innovative initiatives coming to their beach to help drive behaviour change, including community clean up events, bright signage and wrapped bins along the shorefront, and new for this year – litter picking stations, citizen science surveys and new ‘doggie ambassador’ competitions.
Last year the initiative was a soaring success, the report recorded a reduction in litter of 12-15% at all three beaches, Portobello, Ayr and Fisherrow, as well as bolstering engagement with an 82% public awareness of the campaign and its key messages. Now, the community in Kinghorn, Fife, will be encouraged to get involved, making a difference to the beach that is already so well loved.
The interventions run alongside a range of efforts by the Scottish Government, SEPA and Scottish Water to improve bathing waters across Scotland.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I am pleased to see the return of the My Beach, Your Beach campaign again this summer, which has made a valuable contribution to increasing public awareness on the impact litter of all kinds can have on our beaches.
“The Scottish Government is committed to protecting Scotland’s natural environment and the health and wellbeing of our communities. Campaigns like this one will help us to develop long term solutions to the challenges facing Scotland’s coastlines - keeping our beaches clean for everyone to enjoy, particularly as we approach the Year of Coast and Waters in 2020.”
Find out more about our My Beach, Your Beach campaign and the simple steps you can take to keep Scotland's beaches and bathing waters clean for everyone to enjoy.