Membership boost for Paws on Plastic

Marion Montgomery, left,  receives her award from Keep Scotland Beautiful's community project officer Heather McLaughlin
Marion Montgomery, left, receives her award from Keep Scotland Beautiful's community project officer Heather McLaughlin

An online environmental campaign led by a Stonehaven teacher has reached 10,000 members and followers across social media.

Marion Montgomery started Paws on Plastic while on sick leave and it has grown by 1000 new members a month, spread over 50 countries.

The initiative encourages dog owners to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on every walk.

Marion launched the campaign nearly a year ago after noticing how much debris was lying around the town when walking her Labrador, Paddy.

The drive is supported and promoted by Keep Scotland Beautiful, Surfers Against Sewage, Forestry and Land Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and several local councils including Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

Marion said: “As a primary teacher who started this campaign while on long-term sick leave, I can certainly testify to the feeling of wellbeing and achievement it gives.

“It’s amazing how the campaign has grown in such a short time. I would like to say a huge thank you to my family, friends and all our members and followers for their support in spreading the word and for all their efforts in cleaning up their communities.

“It is quite remarkable how it has struck a cord among dog owners the world over.”

She added: “Being able to do something simple as part of their everyday routine gives an enormous feeling of wellbeing and achievement for everyone, whether young or old.

“It has an enormous impact with so many of us doing it, as we can clearly see in Stonehaven. With 250 dog owners picking up every day, our town is noticeably clean.

“Studies certainly show that people drop less litter on clean streets so our efforts have a double effect.”

Last month, the primary school teacher received the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ for her environmental efforts.

Keep Scotland Beautiful praised Marion’s work and that of other volunteers across Scotland.