Visitors to Portobello beach are being urged to clean it themselves - and this is how
People using Edinburgh’s main beach at Portobello are to be given the chance to clean it themselves with the installation of new litter picking stations along the length of the famous promenade.
Beach users are to be urged to use litter pickers and will be provided with gloves and bin bags at various points along the seafront in a move to beat recent ongoing litter complaints.
The new bid to clean up the beach, launched to coincide with World Ocean Day on Saturday, comes just days after Portobello was revealed as among the dirtiest in Scotland with water quality labelled as just “sufficient” by environmental watchdog Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) .
The Keep Scotland Beautiful charity identified Portobello as one of four across Scotland in need of urgent attention along with Fisherrow in East Lothian, Ayr and Kinghorn in Fife.
As well as the new litter stations, the charity’s My Beach, Your Beach campaign aims to raise awareness of pollution and its impacts on water quality – from dog fouling and litter, to feeding gulls.
SEPA last week rated Portobello Central and Portobello West “sufficient”. However this was an improvement on last year, when Portobello West was labelled “poor”.
Fisherrow in East Lothian was given a “poor” rating for the third year in a row.
Aoife Hutton, project officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “The outcomes of 2018 set a high bar for this summer, and we can’t wait to start our work with the communities and local authorities to make sure we can make an even bigger difference to the beaches.”
Calum McPhail, SEPA environmental quality manager, said: “Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s stunning environment.
“By targeting behaviour on beaches and promenades that can affect bathing water quality Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘My Beach, Your Beach’ campaign complements SEPA’s work. More of
Scotland’s bathing waters are meeting the ‘excellent’ classification rating, and this year Portobello (West) passed the stricter water quality standards for the first time.
“Working with partners we’re continuing our focus on bathing waters rated as ‘poor’ with tailored improvement plans under way. We are committed to providing real time information on water quality to ensure those heading to Scotland’s beaches can have a great day, and we hope to see further improvements in the coming months and years.”