Success for Easthaven anti-litter campaign

Angus Council have highlighted dual purpose bins that dog owners can put dog waste in.
Angus Council have highlighted dual purpose bins that dog owners can put dog waste in.

Visitors to Arbroath’s West Links and the adjoining path and cycleway to Easthaven are being urged to maintain the success of the recent Prevent Litter and Pick up 3 campaign in the area.

The campaign encouraged everyone to stop littering and pick up any three pieces of litter during their visit to the area and use the newly installed recycling bins.

Graphic images were used on signs throughout the area to highlight the environmental impact and dangers of litter on people and wildlife.

The campaign findings show the local community partnership activity produced a 33 per cent overall reduction in littering in all five areas of the project and an increased awareness of the environmental impact of littering.

Surveys done at the start and end of the three month project revealed a 61 per cent reduction in drinks related litter, 50 per cent in confectionery waste, 38 per cent in dog waste, 37 per cent in fast food packaging and 15 per cent in smoking related litter.

Commenting on the success of the campaign, which was part of the county wide Clean-Up Angus campaign, councillor Jeanette Gaul, the chair of the council’s Pride in Place group said: “The most significant factor in the success of the Pick-up 3 campaign was the fantastic partnership approach taken. Local community groups, retailers, schools and the council all contributed – organising litter picks, getting the message out to customers, having poster competitions and presentations and generally taking every opportunity to promote the pick-up 3 anti-littering message.

“A 33 per cent overall reduction in litter during the period of the project is an excellent start and we want to continue that success throughout the busy summer months, when hundreds of people visit this popular spot.

“The new signs and waste bins in the area will help to get the anti-littering message out to all of those visitors too – encouraging everyone to take advantage of the new recycling facilities to dispose of their own litter and take extra pride in the area by picking up any three pieces of litter they find.”

A spokesperson from West Links Partnership said: “The posters were hard hitting and designed to make people aware of the serious implications of litter, hopefully the campaign message will leave a legacy that will reduce the problem.”

Wendy Murray from East Haven Residents’ Association said: “East Haven residents were delighted to be involved in Prevent and Pick up 3 and have continued to promote the key messages arising out of the campaign. We believe it has made a real difference and that littering is significantly reduced as a result. It was hard work over a fairly short period of time but the public were very responsive and supportive of the initiative. Even on very busy days we hardly have any litter left at all now and any stray items are picked up as soon as we see it. We believe campaigns such as this should be rolled out across Scotland to develop a mind-set where littering is no longer seen as acceptable.”

Jillian Low from the Arbroath Skatepark Project said: “I am delighted that the campaign has shown positive results in the reduction of litter across the area. I am proud that our group was able to play their part in the project.”

Craig Maclean, Operations Consultant for the Arbroath Road McDonald’s restaurant, said: “It was great to see everyone come together to take action against litter in the coastal area across Arbroath and Easthaven. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved for all their hard work throughout this campaign. We as a business understand the important role we play in making the area a better place. Whilst in the first instance we are keen to actively discourage littering, community events and initiatives like this one help make a big impact on the local area. When businesses like mine, community volunteers and local councils work together we are able to achieve so much more and this event is a perfect example of this.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Scotland’s national litter strategy, Towards a Litter-free Scotland, focuses on preventing litter being dropped in the first place, so it’s great to see the whole community coming together to ensure a preventative approach is taken alongside traditional clean-up methods. Installing recycling bins in the area also ensures that we’re getting the maximum value from materials such as plastic bottles, cans and newspapers.

“Litter is an eyesore which spoils Scotland’s natural beauty. As well as the obvious costs of cleaning, education and enforcement, our research shows that litter and flytipping has indirect costs of over £25 million a year, for example impacts on mental health and neighbourhood safety. By tackling the problem at its origin, we can help to make Scotland’s communities safer and more pleasant places to live.”