A Stonehaven teacher has received the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’.
Marion Montgomery’s commendation is in recognition of her online campaign to get people and their dogs involved in cleaning up their local areas.
It is part of the national Clean Up Scotland campaign, organised by environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Marion was nominated for the award for her successful social media campaign Paws on Plastic.
She launched the initiative after noticing how much litter was lying about when walking her Labrador, Paddy.
Marion established the online group Paws on Plastic, where she inspires other dog owners to have fun on their walks, and asks that they simply pick up a couple of pieces of litter and take them home for recycling.
With more than 9,000 members across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in more than 50 countries, it is estimated that the followers will pick up over 13 million pieces of litter each year.
Marion said: “I really am delighted to receive the Clean Up Scotland Hero of the Month Award.
“I am very passionate about the environment and pleased that Paws on Plastic is encouraging other people to take small steps to help save their planet.
“The idea behind the campaign is simple and was inspired by my dogs picking up plastic bottles and cans on walks which I then felt I had to put in the bin.
“This group simply encourages dog owners to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on every walk, recycling what they can.
“It’s extremely effective in towns with lots of members picking up every day as studies show that people drop less litter in clean areas. We welcome all dog owners to join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
Marion was recently presented with the award by Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Heather McLaughlin at the Dog Lovers Show in Glasgow. The award is supported by The Helping Hand Company which provides each Hero with a Clean Up kit - including a Scottish litter picker and handy hoop.
Heather McLaughlin, the charity’s community project officer, said: “I would like to congratulate Marion for her efforts and for going the extra mile to get other people involved in helping to protect our outdoor spaces.
“In a short period of time, Paws on Plastic has managed to reach thousands of people. I hope that they will all take the time to pick up a couple of pieces of rubbish when they are out walking their dogs.
“Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are volunteers all across Scotland like Marion, who are working very hard to clean up and green up their local area.
“Clean Up Scotland helps to support their efforts as well as recognising the contributions made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”