Paws on Plastic’s big year ahead

Marion Montgomery at home with her dog Paddy
Marion Montgomery at home with her dog Paddy

An online environmental campaign led by a Stonehaven teacher is looking to go from strength to strength in 2020.

Marion Montgomery started Paws on Plastic while on sick leave and it has grown by around 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 in late 2018 after noticing how much debris was lying around the town when walking her Labrador, Paddy.

Towards the end of 2019 it celebrated its first anniversary with 11,000 members and followers.

Marion, who has seen the initiative gather pace across Aberdeenshire, said: “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.

“The strength of Paws on Plastic is its simplicity. Dog owners are already out there walking their dogs every day.

“We see the litter - we have a spare bag in our pocket and it just takes a second to pick up a couple of pieces.

“No extra time or effort is required yet if we all do our own wee bit.

“With 10,000, just picking up two pieces of litter on two daily walks, that’s over 40,000 pieces a day, or 14.6 million a year.

“With around nine million dogs in the UK alone, imagine the impact if we all did our own small bit?”

The group has now spread to more than 50 countries in six continents.

The campaign is supported and promoted by Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Britain Tidy, Surfers Against Sewage, Forestry and Land Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland and several local councils including Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. To join, search for “Paws on Plastic’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.