School pupils act on litter

SCHOOL pupils in Glasgow have helped bring about a dramatic reduction in the amount of litter in and around their place of learning.

Supervised by one of their teachers, first-year pupils from Castlemilk High School – in the south of the city – carried out research into litter in the streets adjacent to their school, with the result that the local authority positioned a new litter bin in an area previously ill-served by such a facility.

Says a media release issued by Glasgow City Council, here: “Pupils also carried out around five community clean ups over several months and audited the type and quantity of litter found on different occasions. Plastic bottles, cans and takeaway wrappers were among the most commonly-collected items. Excitingly, the litter audits show that, between February and April this year, the number of cans found on the route [between the school and local shops] fell by 80 per cent, the number of plastic bottles fell by 62 per cent and the number of sweet wrappers fell by 59 per cent.”

It adds: “During [a] council pilot, officers sprayed footsteps on paths leading to bins – a practice called ‘the nudge technique’, which was successfully pioneered in Amsterdam – to encourage everyone in the community to dispose of their litter responsibly. The council also ran a Bin It to Win It pilot with the school – offering prizes like reusable water bottles and [food] vouchers to pupils who were seen actively using the bins during random spot checks by the ‘campus cop’, teachers and the Clean Glasgow team.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland