An innovative ‘self-service’ beach clean station installed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust has proved a success in its first month.
Visitors have collected 130 kilograms of plastic and other items that have washed up on Dun Canna near Ullapool and placed them in the station to be taken to the local recycling centre. Fishing ropes, net and twine, packaging, strapping and domestic containers are among the rubbish that has been gathered.
The Trust’s Living Seas Community Officer Noel Hawkins said: “Earlier in the year we held a big clean-up at Dun Canna but it took a lot of organisation as even though the beach is popular with visitors it’s pretty remote. I thought that a self-service cleaning station that encouraged people to pick up a small amount of litter and then drop it off on their way home could be a good idea.
“The amount of litter that visitors have collected from the beach in the first month is overwhelming, and I’m delighted that people are buying in to the idea. I’d like to thank Keanchulish Estate for their enthusiastic support of this trial, as well as Highland Council who are allowing the litter collected at the station to be deposited at their recycling centre free of charge.”
Ben Bulmer, owner of Keanchulish Estate, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this excellent initiative. We’re hugely encouraged by the response from visitors, and are in no doubt that it will have a massive impact in the ongoing battle to clean up this wonderful coastline.”
The station is built from a pallet box which was kindly donated by Keltic Seafare in Dingwall. It is stocked with bin bags and litter pickers, and is designed to withstand harsh conditions including strong winds.
The trial is part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas project, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.