Paws on Plastic campaign membership soars
The environmental dog charity (SCIO51306) encourages dog owners to pick up a couple of pieces of litter on every walk, every day, removing over 36 million pieces of litter a year from our streets, beaches, parks and countryside.
Founded in Stonehaven, in November 2018 by primary school teacher, Marion Montgomery, Paws on Plastic, continues to hit a cord among dog owners keen to play their part in fighting plastic pollution, attracting new members and followers on Facebook, Instagram, X and LinkedIn.
“We’ve had an awesome start to 2024!” explained Marion. “January can be a hard month for many people, and New Year Resolutions have often fallen by the wayside by now. Picking up a few pieces of litter is such a simple but extremely positive thing to do when we’re out anyway walking our dogs.
"It’s great for mental health - really empowering and satisfying to take a simple positive action that has an immediate and visible impact. As animal lovers it’s a simple thing to do to protect dogs, wildlife and our precious environment from harm.
“We are all busy nowadays and it’s often hard to find the time for things. The beauty of Paws on Plastic is that no extra time or effort is required as it only takes a minute to pick up a couple of pieces of litter as part of your everyday dog walking routine.
“The strength of Paws on Plastic really is its simplicity,” Marion continued. “Dog owners are already out there walking their dogs every day. We see the litter and many of us unfortunately have experienced our dogs being injured by it, either eating something that’s been dropped or cutting paws on broken glass.
"As responsible dog owners, we have a spare bag in our pocket & it just takes a second to pick up a couple of pieces. With 25,000 of us, just picking up 2 pieces of litter on 2 daily walks, that’s 100,000 pieces a day, or over 36 million a year although, most people pick up more as it is rather addictive! With over 12 million dogs in the UK alone, imagine the impact if we all did our own small bit.”
The group has now spread to nearly 80 countries in 6 continents around the world, showing the worldwide desire among dog owners to do play their part. Dogs, like many animals, are naturally attracted to litter, with many picking up plastic bottles and cans. Once your dog has played with one, it’s up to you to dispose of it carefully.
Education on the consequences of litter is also one of the Charity’s key aims and Marion regularly visits schools with her dogs and gives talks to community groups and organisations.
Paws on Plastic also runs monthly beach cleans on Stonehaven Beach on the first Saturday of the month, 10-11am with the Plastic Free Stonehaven community group.
In 2023 the volunteers removed over 260 kgs of waste with a total of 258 volunteer hours. The response from the community has been fantastic with families turning out in all weathers to do their bit for their local environment. With recent storms having washed up a phenomenal amount of debris, at the first beach clean of 2024 on January 6, 40+ volunteers removed 146kgs, over half of the whole total for 2023!
Plastic Free Stonehaven is a community group working towards gaining plastic free status for the town using the Surfers Against Sewage framework.
To join the campaign, search for ‘Paws on Plastic’ on Facebook, X, Instagram and LinkedIn via the links below. You can also register for updates via pawsonplastic.org.uk.
Members are responsible for keeping themselves and any accompanying companions safe. All pieces picked up are helping to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in the sea.