Media Release: Campaign launched to get a million people to clean up Scotland

KEEP Scotland Beautiful, the environmental charity, has announced that it will lead a nationwide mass-engagement campaign called Clean Up Scotland, which will get underway in 2013 and will run until the end of 2014.

Clean Up Scotland aims to empower clean-ups to clear Scotland of litter and mess in time for hosting major events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014, and to gradually encourage zero tolerance toward the dumping of litter and mess.

Clean Up Scotland aims to engage 1,000,000 Scots as part of a national coalition which will include the public, voluntary and private sectors, in activities ranging from signing a simple pledge to organising a clean-up in their local area. The campaign will highlight the issues that affect far too many Scots, such as litter, dog fouling, flytipping, flyposting, graffiti and abandoned cars.

Commenting on the campaign, Derek Robertson, chief executive of the charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

“Scotland is a beautiful country, but it could be so much better without litter and mess. We conducted a survey showing that over half of Scots have dropped litter, and that almost half do it on an occasional or regular basis. This is more than just a visual problem – it affects our society, our health and the economy.

“It’s an unacceptable situation, and this campaign will change it. Small efforts by ordinary people can make a big difference, and we want one million people to join with us in making this campaign a success.

“I am calling on individuals, local groups and businesses to participate in activities ranging from signing the pledge on our website, to donating money to the campaign, to organising or participating in a local clean up. We will bring the kit – all you need to do is bring yourself and your pride in your local area.

“This is the perfect time to act on Scotland’s environmental problems. Within two years, we are staging global events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, and we should all want Scotland to shine when the eyes of the world are watching.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful has been in discussions with The Scottish Government about its plans for Clean Up Scotland. Endorsing the charity’s campaign, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“There is simply no excuse for litter on Scotland’s streets and beauty spots – this is such senseless antisocial behaviour. We can all stop creating mess, and this campaign makes it easy for people to do their bit. The Scottish Government supports the aims of ‘Clean Up Scotland’ which builds on the success of the National Spring Clean.

“As I announced last week, a national litter strategy is being developed by the Scottish Government to address the litter problem, and we will host a summit in the new year to bring together organisations with responsibilities for tackling litter to find the best ways to solve the problem.”

Launching the campaign along with Mr Robertson was Heather Suttie, the TV and radio presenter and environmental campaigner. Commenting, Ms Suttie said:

“I’ve been doing volunteer work with Keep Scotland Beautiful for years, and there has never been a better time to be involved. Our beautiful country is spoiled in places by thoughtless littering, and we need to make sure that Scotland looks the part when it is in the global spotlight.

“Clean Up Scotland is a campaign which everyone in Scotland should get behind. It will help make our streets, parks, beaches and neighbourhoods better places to live, and it will help promote Scotland to the world. It’s a no-brainer.”

The Clean Up Scotland pledge can be signed here:


1. Keep Scotland Beautiful is an independent charity which takes action, campaigns and educates on a range of local, national and global environmental issues affecting quality of life. We’re helping to make Scotland clean and green, today and tomorrow.

2. Keep Scotland Beautiful has previously led the annual National Spring Clean. In the space of only eight weeks in 2012 an estimated 125,000-250,000 volunteers collected 1,100 tonnes of litter – enough to fill almost 100,000 wheelie bins or cover Hampden Park three feet deep.

3. A number of organisations have pledged their support to the Clean Up Scotland at the outset – they can be seen at

4. Further details from Peter Duncan (07740 469949) or Andy Maciver (07855 261244) at Message Matters.

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Contact: Peter Duncan
Phone: 07740469949