124 bags of litter were cleared from one of Scotland’s most scenic tourist routes last week during a two day spring clean.
Staff from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority joined forced with a team from Argyll & Bute Council to tackle roadside litter head on and carry out a litter pick on the A82.
Armed with litter pickers and safety gear, the group covered the busy stretch of road between Duck Bay and Luss. Just some of the items that were cleared from the area included furry dice, underwear and, unfortunately bottles and bags filled with human waste.
In just under 7 miles the team filled an astonishing 124 bags of litter. 48 of the bags were filled with plastic bottles and cans that will be recycled, reducing the amount of litter being sent to landfill and highlighting the needless waste being generated.
Roadside litter is a problem in many parts of Scotland including the National Park. The A82 is one of the most scenic routes in the country but is often a hot spot for litter. Working in partnership with the council, the National Park Authority wanted to clean up this popular tourist route to help prevent future littering. Litter often acts as a beacon for further littering, giving people ‘permission’ to discard more items. By cleaning up the area, the National Park Authority and the council aims to discourage people from dropping litter.
Recently appointed Litter Prevention Manager for the National Park Authority, Nik Turner, has been instrumental in the campaign and also took part in the litter pick. She said: “The A82 is one of the major routes into and through the National Park, and roadside litter not only creates a negative first impression but it is also dangerous and expensive to clean up.
“The amount of litter we discovered on just one stretch of the A82 was shocking but by working with Argyll and Bute Council we want create positive change and make sure the National Park remains a place of outstanding beauty.
“We’re committed to tackling this issue and by working alongside our partners to take direct action; we want to drive home the message that it’s unacceptable to drop litter anywhere, least of all in a National Park.”
It is illegal to drop litter and anyone caught littering can be issued with a with a fixed penalty notice of £80 or could potentially be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £2,500.
Councillor Roddy McCuish, Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “It really is shameful that anyone would choose to leave litter anywhere, let alone at a location as beautiful as Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
“We are very fortunate to have such wonderful natural beauty across Argyll and Bute and we want to make sure we are all playing our part in keeping it that way. Events such as this roadside litter pick are a great way to highlight the problem and to help clear away some of the litter.
“I thank every member of council staff and the team from the National Park who took part, as well as our residents who get involved in action like this and those who discard of their litter responsibly.”
The litter pick is the first of a series of events planned by the National Park Authority to remove litter from key sites across the National Park as part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘Spring Clean 2019’ and to get the National Park ready for the peak visitor season ahead.
Georgina Massouraki from Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “It is great to be working with Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority to help stem growing issues with litter in this much-loved beauty spot.
“Roadside litter is a particular challenge because of how difficult, dangerous and costly it is to remove, and the scale of this spring clean operation on the A82 is a perfect example of this. This is why, as part of Spring Clean 2019, we are bringing particular focus to our preventative roadside litter campaign, with a Week of Action 11-19 May.
“With half of the litter on Scotland’s roads coming from people eating and drinking in their vehicles, we hope that our campaign will help encourage them to do the right thing. Don’t abandon your litter on the roadside – just ‘Give your litter a lift, take it home!”.
Throughout April and May the National Park Authority will be working in partnership with local authorities and communities across the area to give the National Park a spring clean and to make sure everyone puts litter exactly where it belongs – in the bin.