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Upstream Battle on the Clyde continues to tackle marine litter

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced £20k of support from Crown Estate Scotland to continue its work to tackle litter travelling from our streets and parks in the Clyde Valley to the sea.

The charity’s flagship Upstream Battle campaign aims to stop litter from source to sea.  Following the publication of the first citizen science data report earlier in the year – which highlighted that plastic snack wrappers were the most commonly found item - a call was made for more action to be taken.  Now, thanks to funding from Crown Estate Scotland the battle will recommence.

Building on the success of the award-winning campaign first launched in 2018, the funding committed by Crown Estate Scotland over the coming year will allow the campaign to tackle marine litter at a community level and set litter firmly in the context of the climate emergency.

Support through training, networking events, communications and surveying resources will be provided to the 16 existing community ‘Anchor Groups’ and expanded as four new groups are recruited to the network from across the River Clyde and its 38 tributaries.

With COP26 – the biggest international climate talks - rescheduled to come to Glasgow in November 2021, the campaign will also make links between the climate emergency and how our reliance on single-use items is driving up carbon emissions, wasting scarce resources and often polluting our land, streams, rivers and seas as litter.

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “Litter contributes to the global marine litter crisis – over 90% of plastic in Scottish seas comes from Scottish littering on land, with disastrous consequences for species and habitats in our oceans and seas.

“Thanks to funding from Crown Estate Scotland, Upstream Battle will continue to support communities around the Clyde Valley for another year to remove litter and collect data during local clean ups.  This #Source2Sea dataset will help us to identify issues and create a picture of the litter challenge plaguing our environment, including new single-use items such as PPE.  This will help us to covey the scale of the problem and support us in our campaign for change.”

Campbell Gerrard, Senior Policy and Planning Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said, “Litter poses a real threat to marine wildlife and habitats and impacts people’s enjoyment of where they live and work. As such, we’re really pleased to continue supporting the Upstream Battle project. This phase of the campaign is set to help prevent rubbish entering our seas, inspiring communities to protect our coastal environments and improving the health of the River Clyde and its catchment.”

Rural Affairs and Natural Environment Minister, Mairi Gougeon said, “I welcome the continuation of the Upstream Battle project, bringing together local communities and supporting them to help keep our environment clean and healthy. It is vital that the scourge of litter and plastics is tackled, to prevent them being washed into our rivers and ultimately ending up in the sea and on our beaches. 

“As we look forward to COP26 next year, we must not underestimate the effect that single use plastics also have on climate change, from their production, distribution and disposal.  

 “The Clyde is enjoyed by so many people and this work will help others to enjoy it in the future.”