28 May 2021

Aberdeenshire Council backs Scotland is Stunning campaign

Aberdeenshire Council is supporting the second phase of the award-wining ‘Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way’ litter prevention campaign.

First launched last year to coincide with tourism re-opening in Scotland, the campaign by Zero Waste Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful, aims to raise awareness of the harm done by littering, encouraging Scots to change their habits by taking their litter home or binning it. 

Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way aims to encourage people in Aberdeenshire who are eager to go out and enjoy Scotland’s natural beauty and wildlife to bin their litter or take it home with them.

The campaign, in which popular Scottish comedian Janey Godley lends her voice to radio and online adverts, reminds Scots out enjoying themselves to leave a green or rural space exactly the way you found it. Janey said: “It’s no secret that I love Scotland and all the goings on, and I don’t understand why people would want to destroy our wee beauty spots with their rubbish.

“When I’m taking my wee sausage dog out for a walk or dragging my daughter on a day trip, I don’t want to be dodging coffee cups, plastic water bottles or sandwich packets.
“Take your rubbish home with you or bin it, ye’ve been telt!”.

As the country takes another step back to normality, the countryside, coastline and local parks are expected to see a flurry of visitors in the coming months, raising concerns about littering. In fact, most people in Scotland are concerned about litter levels in their local area, with research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland indicating that a majority (89%) see it as a problem in their area. Recently, a third (34%) of the population have seen an increase in litter since the pandemic.

As well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence. Discarded waste can harm wildlife and be a danger for children.

This campaign also leads 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.

Alan Wood, director of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services, said: “Scotland is Stunning is such a fantastic and worthwhile campaign to be a part of, and we remain determined to preserve our beautiful Scottish countryside. 

“We have made it abundantly clear that we want people to enjoy our beautiful scenery, our attractions and the warm welcome you get in our towns and villages. The majority of people have respected our communities and we thank them for that. To help them deposit their waste properly we have increased bin provision at many popular locations and we’re increasing our emptying regimes at several known hotspots.

“However a minority of people are not listening. A number of unsafe practices were observed the length and breadth of Aberdeenshire last summer. Therefore I ask and encourage those people again, not to leave their litter or discard barbecues, campfires and camping equipment. We appreciate that this will still not be enough on every occasion at every site, so if the bin is full - or there isn't one - take it home.”

“Also, please avoid contributing to the congestion at our country parks, coastal areas and the wider road network by having a Plan B in place and visit an alternative attraction. Of course the easing of restrictions is being welcomed by everyone - particularly after that tough winter we had - but it remains absolutely critical that we ensure we all fully understand the guidelines before we emerge back into our communities.”

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “As restrictions ease and many of us can once again return to our favourite Scottish beauty spots, we are asking everyone to take their litter home or bin it.

“Visitors to green and rural areas will be keen to make up for lost time and we don’t blame them. We’re joining forces with brilliant partners once again to remind everyone to respect our hills, lochs, parks, and woodlands. Now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors but please leave Scotland as stunning as it was when you found it.”

Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, said: “We want everyone to have the chance to enjoy Scotland’s stunning outdoors this summer. Litter isn’t just an eye sore – it harms our wildlife, contributes to the climate crisis and impacts on our health and wellbeing. To make sure people can enjoy our parks, beaches and countryside after you leave, please put your rubbish in the bin, recycling it if you can.”

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “We know from our work with communities across Scotland that most people want to do the right thing and take action to make all of Scotland stunning again.  Our evidence shows that we’re facing a looming litter emergency across Scotland, so we’re delighted to support this campaign.  We all can, and should, do more to tackle litter. And while some people need to change their behaviour, thousands of people have pledged to litter pick as part of our Summer Clean this month, helping them turn their anger into action.”

The Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way campaign launches today and will be rolled out across social media channels and outdoor advertising over the summer holidays. Partners, businesses, local authorities, and community groups are encouraged to download the free campaign toolkit, which includes digital tools and posters.
The campaign will involve close working with partners across different industries, from tourism to transport, building on the strong performance of the initial campaign in 2020, which achieved backing of over 100 organisations and positive feedback from those surveyed.

To support the campaign and encourage others to do the same, please download the campaign toolkit, or visit www.managingourwaste.scot/litter for further details.