30 Oct 2018

John, has welcomed the launch of “Upstream Battle” a campaign which is running the length and breadth of the Clyde to tackle marine litter at source – raising awareness of the fact that 80% of litter in the sea comes from the land, and helping communities and businesses along the Clyde to take action.

The initiative, launched by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with RECOUP, comes as new research reveals that 88% of people across Scotland are concerned by the extent of litter pollution in our rivers.

“I am very excited about the potential the Upstream Battle Campaign has to improve the quality of the Clyde and our oceans. The awareness raising alone will have a positive impact on how people living along the Clyde think about the litter we drop.

“Rubbish dropped in Dalmarnock can end up contributing to all kinds of problems if washed out into the ocean. I am also a big fan of local litter clean-ups and will look forward to getting involved in any organised as part of the Upstream Battle.”

The Upstream Battle campaign is backed by a range of high profile ambassadors, organisations and funders, including the renowned Blue Planet cameraman, Doug Allan. John is encouraging everyone to get involved and take part in a range of activities which will be taking place across the entire length of the River Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills in the South of Scotland, to Helensburgh and Greenock at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde.

Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan, said:

“It’s hugely satisfying to see the part that the Blue Planet 2 series has played in heightening awareness of this devastating problem for the marine environment. I’m equally proud that it’s my native Scotland that’s setting the pace in recognising the scale of the problem, and taking practical steps to address it.


“It’s never been more important to look after our planet. What we do on land directly affects the health of our rivers and our seas and everything that lives in them. It’s time to get serious about the source of marine litter, and I’m delighted to be supporting Upstream Battle.


As the first “source to sea” campaign of its kind in Scotland, Upstream Battle will feature three major distinct strands of activity co-ordinated by Keep Scotland Beautiful, which focus on raising awareness and inspiring action. This will include:

  • significant community engagement, working with groups along the Clyde valley, making people aware of the problem of marine litter and how to keep the Clyde clean
  • a ‘citizen science’ project to empower thousands of people in the Clyde Valley to clean up and identify the litter along the banks of their local river
  • a schools programme to help educate young people about the path litter takes from source to sea


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 take action.

“This 18-month campaign will raise awareness of the scale of the problem and motivate people 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.”

So far, partner funders of the Upstream Battle campaign, which is managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP, include the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid Cooperative and RCP/bpi.

People can find out more about how to take part in the campaign by visiting www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/upstreambattle.