Scottish SPCA encourages dog walkers to Paws on Plastic

The Scottish SPCA is encouraging people to support the Paws on Plastic initiative throughout May which asks dog owners to pick up at least two pieces of litter when walking their dogs.

By Dawn Renton
Monday, 3rd May 2021, 6:00 am
Marion with her dogs Padddy and Ted
Marion with her dogs Padddy and Ted

Scotland’s animal welfare charity saw an increase of 17% in calls about litter from 1 January to 31 March 2021 compared to the previous year.

A total of 118 jobs have been raised involving animals and discarded rubbish this year which is up from the same period in 2020 when there were 99.

In addition, environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has recently warned of a looming litter emergency with data showing an 111% increase in significantly littered sites since 2007.

The initiative will help protect animals from the dangers of litter.

Paws on Plastic was started by environmental enthusiast Marion Montgomery who began the non-profit enterprise from her home as a way to combat the harmful effects of litter and in particular, plastic.

The Society is asking people to take part over the month of May and over the Keep Scotland Beautiful Summer Clean which runs from May 28 until June 20.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We get countless reports every year of animals ingesting or becoming trapped or caught in litter or discarded fishing wire. Some litter is a choking hazard or can cause damage and restrict an animal’s ability to eat which can lead to starvation. Animals can also ingest rubbish which can be fatal.

“We fully support Paws on Plastic and encourage people to take part. The positive effect it will have for wildlife and local communities will be tremendous.”

Marion Montgomery from Stonehaven, has grown the Paws on Plastic community to over 20,000 members worldwide.

She said: “I started Paws on Plastic to help protect animals from the dangers of litter. As a responsible dog owner, I was walking my dogs with spare poo bags in my pocket and often noticed the same pieces of rubbish every day.

“Our aim is that it becomes just a normal part of an everyday dog walk. All we ask is for a couple of pieces on every walk. I’d encourage all dog owners across Scotland to join us.”

Find out more about Paws on Plastic on Facebook