Visitors to Scotland’s first National Park are being urged to ‘give their litter a lift’ as part of a national campaign to tackle roadside litter.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful to support their roadside litter campaign by using messages on bins and lampposts at key visitor sites.
Litter levels in Scotland are at their worst in a decade with 82% of motorways and A-road verges recorded a presence of litter in 2016/17.
The National Park attracts more than four million visitors every year and has some of Scotland’s busiest major roads passing through it.
Unfortunately this can lead to increased levels of litter being dumped on some of the most scenic routes in the country. This type of litter not only spoils the spectacular landscape and views of the area, roadside litter in particular is difficult, dangerous and costly to clear up.
The only real solution is for those responsible to change their bad habits and dispose of their rubbish responsibly when on the road. This means holding on to it in the vehicle until they find a suitable bin. In other words: Give your litter a lift, take it home!
As part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s national week of action, the National Park Authority have placed ‘Give your litter a lift’ messages on bins and lampposts at key locations throughout the Park where visitors often stop to pick up something to eat or drink or enjoy a picnic along their journey.
While many of these locations have bins, the aim is to remind people that if they are moving on with their snacks and drinks to keep their litter with them until they reach a bin or to take it home with them.
Simon Jones, Director of Conservation and Visitor Operations at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “The National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland yet litter is a problem blighting some places in this special landscape.
“Litter doesn’t just ruin a great view, it can be harmful to people and wildlife. Roadside litter is particularly disappointing to see, especially for those who do dispose of their litter responsibly and arrive or stop at popular locations to take in the view and are confronted with someone else’s discarded waste.
“As the National Park Authority, we aren’t responsible for collecting all litter in the Park but we are working to tackle this issue across the area as best we can.
“We are doing this by trialling different approaches to managing litter on our own sites, by working in collaboration with our partners, other landowners and communities through initiatives like community clean-ups and by taking part in campaigns such as this one to spread the message that everyone can play their part in preventing litter from spoiling this beautiful area. The solution is simple, if there are no bins, or bins are full, take your litter home with you.”
Georgina Massouraki, Roadside Litter Campaign Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:
“We are very pleased to be working with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to target roadside litter in the area. This is an excellent opportunity to remind those visiting and travelling through our beautiful country to be more considerate of our places and help preserve the beauty that attracts people to these places in the first place.
“Litter dropped on roadsides is particularly difficult, dangerous and costly to remove, so it is vital that people take this on board and act more responsibly. Keeping litter in the vehicle until a suitable bin is found is not hard to do. Hopefully our messaging will help improve the situation in the Park .
“This initiative comes amidst our national Week of Action, which has seen hundreds of schools, communities, businesses and other partners take action to send the message that littering in Scotland is not acceptable. With 88% of people agreeing that roadside litter creates a negative impression of Scotland it is time we all do our part to address this unnecessary blight.”
For more information about Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Roadside Litter Campaign go to https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/roadside-litter-campaign/.