Join us in making Scotland seas litter free!

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 30 August 2013

Join us in making Scotland’s seas litter free! MCS has been working hard over the past four years to make sure the Scottish Government follows up on its commitment to implement a marine litter strategy.

Join us in making Scotland’s seas litter free! MCS has been working hard over the past four years to make sure the Scottish Government follows up on its commitment to implement a marine litter strategy. In 2009 the Scottish Government made this commitment, and we are delighted that this important issue is now being consulted on. How can you help? The more responses to the consultation that are received from members of the public, the greater support we will demonstrate to the Scottish Government for the preferred strongest option for the marine litter strategy. Please send your response to Nikki Milne at nikki.milne@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or Scottish Government, Area 1-A South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. Please feel free to use the text below in your response. Please note that in order for your response to be accepted you will need to provide your name and full address, but that your address will not be published and your details will not be used for any purpose other than in connection with this consultation. You have until the 27th of September 2013 to respond. The full consultation document can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/Current NB - Anyone can do this, you don’t need to live in Scotland to take part! Suggested text: “I am writing to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a draft Scottish marine litter strategy. I wish to see a marine litter strategy introduced in Scotland as I believe that it is an important step in reducing pollution in our seas. Question 26: I agree with the Marine Conservation Society’s proposal that Option 3 would best deliver a marine litter strategy. If a strategy is to make a real difference to this problem the Scottish Government must accept that money will have to be spent. Option 4 focuses on delivering some elements of the strategy using the resources that already exist. If the problem has not been tackled sufficiently already with resources / funding / staff that currently exist (and these are mostly within the charity sector), it is unlikely that simply grouping these resources together under a strategy will make a significant difference to future progress. Funding, staff and resources will have to be provided to make the strategy work effectively, and this will only be done through Option 3. I believe that essential elements for Option 3 should include: a lead authority identified and funding provided for a dedicated policy officer; funding for high profile campaigns that would have a direct impact on reducing litter from source, e.g. Bag it and Bin it; Scotland-wide co-ordinated campaigns, rather than the many and varied localised campaigns that exist at the moment; baseline data will be essential to monitoring future progress of the strategy, and a Government-led data collection strategy would be required. Successfully tackling our marine litter problem through a strategy would demonstrate best practise and show what was possible to the UK and other EU countries, and influence further action. Questions 7-9: I further believe that the marine litter strategy and the national litter strategy must link together to ensure a comprehensive approach to tackling the litter problem, on land and at sea, and the two strategies together must ensure there are no gaps in responsibility or action. Questions 10-13: I understand that MCS has identified a possible error in the consultation document with regard to Strategic Direction 2. I agree with MCS’ assertion that all the Existing Actions listed under Strategic Direction 2 (p17) should in fact be listed under Possible Actions. When such a correction has been made, the actions should then be considered important enough to be put in place. Questions 14-17: Similarly, I agree that under Strategic Direction 3, points 2 and 3 in the list of Existing Actions (p18) should also in fact be listed under Possible Actions. Again, when such a correction has been made, these actions should then be considered important enough to be put in place. I am replying as an individual and am happy for my response and name to be published on the Scottish Government website, but not my address. I understand that my name and address are required to identify me as an individual, so that my response can be included in the consultation analysis. I am content for the Scottish Government to contact me again in relation to this consultation exercise.” Reminder: The final date for sending this response is 27th of September 2013. Please send your response to Nikki Milne at nikki.milne@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or Scottish Government, Area 1-A South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh. Thank you. MCS sits on the marine litter strategy steering group and has contributed to the draft strategy. MCS Beachwatch data has made a significant contribution to knowledge of this issue, and this is all thanks to the hard work of our volunteers over the past twenty years.

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