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Communities come together to tackle plastics

Communities across the UK will be turning out in force this weekend to lift plastic items dumped in streets, rivers, beaches and parks, as part of a nationwide campaign between the Daily Mail and Keep Britain Tidy.

The Great Plastics Pick-Up will also see all Scottish local authorities making available bags for people in Scotland who wish to join in the clean-up activity, which has been prompted by the nationwide interest in the harm caused by single-use plastics when they’re dumped in our environment.

Zero Waste Scotland figures show that half of all litter could have been recycled, and we are actively looking at ways to minimise the use of single-use plastics, boost recycling, and prevent litter. Our work, at the request of the Scottish Government, to design a deposit return for drinks containers, shall result in a system that will improve recycling and remove many discarded plastic bottles from the environment.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, welcomed the focus the campaign is bringing to the plastics issue. He said, “I congratulate all the volunteers who are out and about this weekend removing plastics dumped in their communities, and the Daily Mail and Keep Britain Tidy for highlighting the blight these littered items have on our country – in both urban and rural environments – if they’re not disposed of properly. A lot of these materials could and should be recycled – in fact, half of all litter could have been recycled.

“The answer to this problem is simply, not to drop litter in the first place. Zero Waste Scotland aims to promote litter prevention wherever we can and we’re also involved in a range of activities to boost recycling and minimise single-use plastic items. Foremost amongst these is our work to design a Deposit Return Scheme for Scotland – the first in the UK - which evidence show will boost recycling rates for plastic and other materials, while removing litter from our streets and beaches.”

Zero Waste Scotland's Litter Knowledge Network contains a store of the latest evidence and strategies for talking litter, from a range of community groups and expert bodies.  Take a look at:

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