A CAMPAIGN has been launched to keep local beauty spots free of litter.

Research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland suggests a third of residents have noticed more rubbish being dumped during the Covid pandemic.

Now the environmental organisation has joined forces with the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful to urge people who want to explore the great outdoors to make sure they bin their litter or take it home with them.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “As restrictions ease and many of us can once again return to our favourite 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 but we’re joining forces with brilliant partners to remind everyone to respect our hills, parks and woodlands.

“Now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors but please leave it as stunning as it was when you found it.”

The research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland also indicates that around 90% of local residents see litter as a problem in their area.

And there are fears that littering will get worse over the summer months as lockdown rules change and beauty spots attract a growing number of visitors.

Campaigners have stressed that, as well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence, as discarded waste can harm wildlife and be a danger to children.

Barry Fisher, of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We know from our work with communities that most people want to do the right thing.

“Our evidence shows that we’re facing a looming litter emergency, so we’re delighted to support this campaign.

“We all can, and should, do more to tackle litter.”

Local businesses and community groups are being asked to support the campaign by downloading and displaying a poster that encourages people to dispose of their litter responsibly.

For more details, click HERE.