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Environment / Shopping trolleys and broken bottles lead to litter reminder

Photos taken by Ross Leask on Sunday morning.

A RENEWED appeal has been made for locals not to litter on Shetland’s beaches after a recent party left Sands of Sound in Lerwick strewn with shopping trolleys, smashed bottles and food packaging.

Ross Leask came across the rubbish on the popular beach on Sunday morning and photos he took of the mess were shared online by local litter campaign group Dunna Chuck Bruck.

He felt compelled to clean up the mess himself to avoid people or animals getting hurt.

Dunna Chuck Bruck reminded locals – not for the first time – to clean up after themselves if they are having a beach party.

Ross has regularly come across rubbish on the Sands of Sound beach over the last few years and he has posted photos of the bruck online to raise awareness.

“People need to take their rubbish home,” he said.

“As the beach is a private beach, the council won’t put bins there.”

Ross previously made a sign himself for the fence near to the beach encouraging folk to take their rubbish with them and to “leave only footprints behind”.

But he said beach-goers have sometimes just dumped their rubbish underneath the sign.

“I just can’t understand how, with so much social media about plastic and rubbish pollution, people still leave rubbish behind,” Ross said.

Shetland Islands Council’s environmental health department reiterated that there is a green public bin near to the entrance to the Sands of Sound area.

People who are seen dropping litter, meanwhile, can be fined £80.

Shetland Amenity Trust’s Ali Robertson, who manages the Dunna Chuck Bruck campaign, said it was regrettable that a minority of folk still litter despite the local community having a high awareness of environmental issues such as plastic pollution.

“With almost 4,600 volunteers for Da Voar Redd Up in 2018, we know that many people who care about the Shetland environment translate that directly into positive action and volunteer their time to make a difference in our islands,” she said.

“Although the bruck found on Shetland beaches can come from anywhere in the world, unfortunately some litter is undeniably generated from within Shetland as Ross has highlighted.

“As the nice evenings become more frequent, so do messages from the public to Dunna Chuck Bruck reporting littered disposable barbeques, food packaging and drinks containers from beach parties. It is a minority of people who are responsible for littering our islands, but this illustrates the need for continued education and awareness on the damage this behaviour can do to the environment.

“We live on a beautiful island that inspires us to get outside in nature and make the most of the lighter evenings, but we must do so responsibly, observing the nature around us and making a conscious decision to protect it by leaving only footprints, and taking away all our bruck.”

This year’s Da Voar Redd Up, meanwhile, is due to take place on 27 and 28 April.

People interested in taking part should visit the Shetland Amenity Trust website.