LOCAL organisations are pulling together to tackle marine litter at the source.

Belville Community Garden and Rig Arts are anchor groups for the Keep Scotland Beautiful Upstream Battle which aims to stop litters journey from source to sea and is focussed around the River Clyde.

Thirteen volunteers including some from Rig Arts, Belville and Berry bpi, recently took part in the first litter pick along Custom House Quay.

Volunteers covered a 500m stretch of the waterfront and collected five bags of litter while carrying out a survey on a 100m stretch.

Laura Woollacott, project officer for the Upstream Battle Campaign said: “The campaign aims to tackle marine litter by focussing on stopping it at the source rather than trying to remove it from our seas once it is there.

“Although five bags of litter doesn’t sound like a lot, it is important to note that much of it was smaller items such as cigarette butts and fishing line.

“On a 100m stretch we counted 519 pieces of litter including 250 cigarette butts, 45 pieces of fishing line and 82 wet wipes.

“We also found one pistachio nut shell, five tea bags, three shoe laces and a bag of nappies.

“These litter picks are important as much of that could have easily blown into the Clyde and end up in the marine environment.”

Laurie Duffy, from Rig Arts was delighted to work alongside Belville to help look after the environment.

She said: “At Rig Arts we really try to keep the environment at the forefront of everything we do, being as sustainable as possible and we have worked with Belville on art projects before.

“It is great to be able to link up with another organisation like Belville who also have the environment in mind. Volunteers are helping with our litter pick and we will also help with theirs.

“Belville kindly offered to host lunch for the volunteers afterwards.

“Having the support of Laura from Keep Scotland Beautiful is great also and recording what we find will hopefully help us to find out what the main issues are and reduce them.

“The litter pick was great and we definitely saw some stand out issues including cigarette butts, baby wipes and random bits of fishing line which are all so harmful to the environment.”

Volunteers from Berry BPI group took time out to help in the litter pick and are encouraging other businesses to get on board.

Fiona Delaney, executive assistant at Berry bpi group said: “Keep Scotland Beautiful do a great job, not just helping to co-ordinate local events, but equally important by raising overall awareness of why everyone in the community should get involved.

“We are delighted to pledge our ongoing support and I hope that businesses in the Greenock area who have not yet joined the Upstream Battle will consider doing so.”