A CAMPAIGN has been launched to encourage people to do their bit to rid rivers of land-based litter.

The 18-month drive, which is the first of its kind, asks residents and businesses to consider the impact of discarding waste, particularly plastic, which ends up in the water, devastating marine life.

Organisers of the Upstream Battle campaign aim to clean up the entire length of the River Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills to the rivers Kelvin, Leven and Avon, as well as the Black Cart and White Cart, which run through Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Recent research has estimated that 12.7 million tonnes of waste enters the marine environment every year across the globe.

And the European Commission has estimated that 80% of marine waste originates from irresponsible disposal onshore.

Keep Scotland Beautiful and recycling charity RECOUP are partners in the Upstream Battle campaign, which is funded by a range of organisations, including Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid and RCP/bpi.

It is supported by the Scottish Government and a broad range of public agencies, as well as some high-profile ambassadors.

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Our research clearly shows that people across Scotland are deeply concerned by the amount of litter finding its way into our rivers and oceans – and now is the time to start the fightback against the plague of ocean waste.

“This 18-month campaign will aim to educate locals about the scale of the problem and motivate them to play their part in tackling it.

"In the end, this is about changing behaviour. We need to think differently about litter and how we dispose of it.

"The evidence is clear – the drinks bottle or crisp packet discarded in our streets has a fair chance of ending up in our river and polluting the ocean.

"That has to stop. It’s time to look after our rivers and protect our seas.”