Scotland’s beaches are wild, rugged and beautiful - but some of them also have a serious litter problem, according to a new map that charts pollution on the coastline.
Three charities – The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), The UK Civil Air Patrol and the Moray Firth Partnership – have partnered to map the sheer volume of rubbish around nearly 10,000 kilometres of Scotland’s mainland coast.
Pilots from the charity Sky Watch Civil Air Patrol fly over the Scottish coastline to take aerial photographs of marine litter they can see from the air.
The charities will then use that data to target beach cleans, which volunteers can get involved in.
Check out the map here.
The project, called SCRAPbook, will also help gather a “robust evidence base” of how much litter is being washed up on Scotland’s shores.
“This project will provide an entirely new dataset that will be crucial to highlight to government and industry what steps we need to take next to stop this plastic tide hitting Scotland’s shores,” Catherine Gemmell from MCS Scotland said.
The map has a colour code that denotes how densely polluted the area is: red for major and widespread, amber for major, green for present and significant, and yellow for present in medium density.
Clicking on the individual pinpoints reveals the type of rubbish found - ranging from flytipped junk and concrete blocks to plastic debris and netting.