People urged not to litter or park irresponsibly when enjoying our beautiful countryside

Residents are being urged not to spoil it by littering or parking irresponsibly when they’re enjoying days out in our beautiful landscape as the ‘stay in your local authority area’ restriction lifts today.

Aberdeen City Council is backing Zero Waste Scotland’s campaign Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way, which aims to inspire people getting out and about to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving litter, reminding them they should either bin it or take it home. In addition, Keep Scotland Beautiful is asking people not to throw litter out of their vehicles as prior to lockdown, more than 50 tonnes of litter was thrown onto Scotland’s roadsides each month.

People are also asked to park responsibly by moving on if a popular spot is particularly busy and not to park on verges as you could be blocking emergency vehicles or access for farmers, residents, employees, or countryside rangers. Residents should also not stop at busy places as there is still a need to physically distance for Covid.

As lockdown eases, local businesses and the tourism industry in general are counting on an increase in trade to support them through what are difficult economic times.

The unspoilt scenery and parks in Aberdeen and the wider Grampian area play a vital role in encouraging people to enjoy our region and support businesses, but this can only happen if areas of beauty remain in their original pristine state.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “We live in a beautiful city with stunning parks and countryside areas, amid a wider area in Grampian with scenery among the best in the world.

“We’d ask people not to drop litter and either bin it or take litter home if bins are full, and also to check when they park they’re not blocking anyone or being inconsiderate.

“We all look forward to the country opening up again but want to ensure everyone does it in a safe and considerate way.”

As well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence. Discarded waste can also be a danger to young children and animals, and it is estimated that 80% of marine litter washing up on our beaches started out on land.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “People are understandably keen to enjoy everything Scotland has to offer this summer, and onwards. If you are camping, exercising, having a barbecue or just enjoying the scenery, have fun, but remember to bin what you don’t need or take it with you.

“I’m delighted Aberdeen City Council is getting involved in our campaign. Go home with happy memories and leave the Grampian area litter-free so others can do the same. We know Scotland is stunning, let’s keep it that way!”

For community groups and other local organisations keen to spread the message to daytrippers and staycationers to bin litter or take it home, a free downloadable campaign toolkit is available online including customisable digital tools and posters. Meanwhile, the campaign can be followed on social media using the hashtag #BinYourLitter

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “Litter levels across Scotland are unacceptable, and in many places are getting much worse. Alongside this campaign, we will continue to offer support to all those who have already stepped up to tackle this problem in their own communities with litter clean ups and projects to improve and protect the places they care about.”

To download the campaign toolkit, or for further information, please visit www.managingourwaste.scot/litter