Litter. Everyone hates it, and yet it remains one of our biggest environmental problems. From the cigarette ends and dog poo bags to fly-tipped furniture, it seems like litter is everywhere in our woodlands, parks and streams. No doubt you’ll have heard aware of the waste epidemic in ours sea, but did you know that an estimated 80% of this marine litter is a result of irresponsible disposal on land?

So, who is responsible and more importantly who should be cleaning it up? Well to be honest we all are, and we all should! It takes a few seconds to make a difference by pick some litter up and binning it or taking it home.

We often get comments that we should do more to clean up our local reserves. What people don’t realise at times is that charities such as the Scottish Wildlife Trust only have limited resources. This has to go towards on the ground conservation work, from planting trees to working on important projects like reintroducing the beaver. We do what we can to deal with fly-tipping and littering, but ultimately we need others to help share the responsibility.

The original problem remains – why is litter still being dropped? Do we care so little about where we stay and the places we visit, have we become so detached from nature that we treat it with such disdain? Or are we becoming so lazy expecting it to be the task of others?  If so when does it end, do we have to be up to our ears in litter before we stop?

There are simple measures you can take to help. Firstly, don’t drop litter. Take it home or bin it and respect the leave no trace principle. Secondly you could contact the the Council or your local councillors to ask for more action on litter in your area. You could even get together with your friends, family and neighbours to and become active in your area and share your passion for a clean environment. Everyone can do something to help!

Tracy Lambert