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Scotland is Stunning – Let's Keep it Sustainable

This week has seen the comeback of Zero Waste Scotland’s award-winning anti-litter campaign Scotland is Stunning – Let's Keep it that Way, in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Scottish Government. 

Iain Gulland | 8 Jun 21

The campaign reminds Scots out enjoying themselves, “Ye’ve been telt!” to leave a green or rural space exactly the way you found it.  

We’re proud to be working with a broad range of partners in a VisitScotland-led group of public sector and membership bodies dedicated to promoting responsible and sustainable tourism in Scotland, promoting behaviour change and ensuring the outdoors is protected to enjoy now and in future generations.  

As Scotland takes another step back to normality, with restrictions easing and people ready to explore Scotland’s great outdoors, Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep it that Way aims to encourage everyone to take pride in our outdoor spaces and keep them litter-free.  Not only is litter an eyesore and harmful to wildlife and children, it is also a criminal offence.   

Recent research tells us that a quarter of Scots are seriously concerned about littering as lockdown restrictions begin to ease, and a third have reported seeing an increase since the coronavirus pandemic started.    

The context of the COVID-19 pandemic makes this all the more acute, with a home population that has had its freedom to roam around and socialise outdoors curtailed -for essential public health reasons - for over a year now.  

Combined with the fact that many normal outlets for socialising, such as soft play centres for families, or festivals which attract a lot of younger people, are not yet available, there is a lot of extra activity outdoors with people making their own entertainment in green and rural spaces. Holidays abroad are also severely limited compared to normal years and therefore, ‘staycations’ are set to boom.  

Last summer when tourism opened up here, outdoor socialising increased massively and litter unfortunately spiked – creating a likely risk of increased littering again this year, and an onus on promoting sustainable visitor management. This has been recognised and acted on through collaboration between various agencies, with VisitScotland leading from the front with its responsible visitor management campaign in March this year.  We know that everyone is desperate to take advantage of the opportunities mother nature offers, and ask that they respect, protect and enjoy our natural heritage when doing so.  

The mental health benefits of getting outdoors for leisure and holiday time are becoming more and better known – as highlighted recently by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park – providing a further impetus to preserve and protect our glorious natural environment, which has so many gifts to bestow on us all. 

The Scotland is Stunning campaign is also leading the way for behaviour change ahead of the expected ban on certain problematic single-use plastic products. As Scotland moves away from single-use items and increases recycling through the new Deposit Return Scheme for drinks cans and bottles, this will ultimately result in less litter, making a good case for systemic change, and in the longer term, helping reduce the littering impacts often associated with visitors to the outdoors.  

Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way is being rolled out across social media channels, national radio, and outdoor advertising.  Partners, businesses, local authorities, and community groups are encouraged to download the free campaign toolkit, which includes digital tools, posters, and a press release template.   

Everyone can do their part in preventing litter - whether you’re on a countryside walk, visiting a beach or having a picnic in an urban park – our campaign simply asks people to bin their litter or take it home.     

Find out more about our campaign and download the toolkit now.  

www.managingourwaste.scot/litter   

 

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