Comment: It’s a matter of taking pride in where you live

Picture: Neil Hanna

Picture: Neil Hanna

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LITTER is an invidious menace. It is seen as a very minor offence, in fact some people see it as no offence at all as is evidenced by how much gets dropped.

But it is unsightly and for a city like Edinburgh that can make a huge difference. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and attracts millions of tourists.

They don’t all come to marvel at what planners call the built environment, ie the intriguing tenements and closes of the Old Town or the imposing magnificence of the New Town, but most will wend their way through the streets as they make their way between attractions.

And somehow litter and filth in such beautiful places is an even greater offence, and there is no doubt that a dirty, litter-strewn city will turn many off and mean fewer return visits, but more importantly in the digital age gets mentioned on social media and the internet and who knows how many potential tourists it puts off.

And although significant council resources are deployed to combat the menace, it is a never-ending struggle.

So it is great to see the council, traders and residents of the Grassmarket getting together to tackle littering in the area.

And it has some great innovative ideas such as allowing smokers to vote on key issues when they stub out their cigarettes, as well as colourful posters and art installations.

Beth Berry, who runs the weekly Grassmarket Market is right to say it is a matter of taking pride in where you live, work or do business.

It is to be hoped that this campaign is a great success because it could so easliy be replicated in other areas by other communities. If other places in the city see this working, it might not be long before the entire city centre is in better shape to fight off the problems caused by the unthinking and inconsiderate who continue to drop litter.