Pupils take Wild Bottle Sighting campaign to Scottish Parliament

By: Catherine Gemmell
Date posted: 18 April 2018

Last night 8 pupils from Our Lady’s Primary were invited to the Scottish Parliament to talk to decision-makers about the Wild Bottle Sighting initiative, an MCS campaign that maps littered plastic bottles to highlight the need for a UK-wide Deposit Return System.

It has been so inspirational working with the pupils and teachers from Our Lady’s Primary on this campaign. From the classroom, to the beach and now to Parliament, our young people are showing us all how we can stand up and fight for change to protect our seas.

Catherine Gemmell,
Scotland Conservation Officer
Marine Conservation Society

The Parliamentary event ‘Generation Earth’ was run by Scottish Environment LINK to celebrate young environmental campaigners from across Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.

The Have You Got The Bottle campaign and the MCS decided to invite these pupils to highlight young people’s interest in tackling marine litter.

The event was a huge success with over 14 Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) coming to talk to the pupils and to hear about their work on the #wildbottlesighting campaign from their playground to the beach.

We even had a special visit from the Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham for whom the pupils had put on a special assembly in January to hand over the completed #wildbottlesighting report and to thank her for Scotland committing to a Deposit Return System.

Our Scotland Conservation Officer Catherine Gemmell, who has been working closely with the school, was delighted to be there with them:

It has been so inspirational working with the pupils and teachers from Our Lady’s Primary on this campaign. From the classroom, to the beach and now to Parliament, our young people are showing us all how we can stand up and fight for change to protect our seas. I can’t wait to continue working with these awesome and true Sea Champions!”.

The pupils sent MCS a message on their way home to Perth last night:

We helped out at Catherine’s stall, had lots of fun and we told lots of MSPs and others about what they need to do with their plastic bottles when they find them”.

Jenni Hume from Have You Got The Bottle? commended the #wildbottlesighting project in raising awareness around Deposit Return Systems and said:

The young people from Our Lady’s Primary have been inspirational for this campaign. Their passion for a clean environment gives us real hope for the future, and it was great to see a queue of MSPs wanting to meet them and talk about the campaign”.

#NaeStrawAtAw - Sunnyside Ocean Defenders

Also presenting to MSPs at the event were the famous Ocean Defenders from Sunnyside Primary school who presented MCS with a highly coveted #NaeStrawAtAw reusable water bottle to recognise all the work we are doing to stop the plastic tide.

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland at the MCS. was also in attendance and was delighted with the collaboration:

A huge thanks to all the MSPs who came to our stall including the Cabinet Secretary, to Scottish Environment LINK for inviting us and to Have You Got The Bottle? for supporting us. It was a brilliant introduction to the MCS work going on in Scotland for our new Public Affairs Manager Emma Crane who arrived in Edinburgh yesterday”.

The stars of the evening were the incredible and inspirational pupils from Our Lady’s Primary who blew us all away with their passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to stand up for our seas.

Actions you can take

  1. Browse Scotland's Marine Atlas
  2. Take your own reusable bottle out and about
  3. Report your #wildbottlesighting using our form
  4. Survey showing public support
  5. Learn about Deposit Return Systems
  6. Find out more about Scottish Wildlife
  7. See our map of reported bottle sightings
  8. Join the Plastic Challenge

Did you know?…

Scotland has 10% of Europe’s coastline

MCS established its Scotland office and programme in 2000 in Edinburgh

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

Help protect 40% of English seas

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Let the government know they must protect our ocean and marine wildlife before it’s too late.

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