Café campaign is far from rubbish with a tonne of trash

A Scots café which launched a litter picking campaign has collected more than a tonne of litter during its six-month run.

The award-winning, Real Food Café in Tyndrum, wanted to tackle the ongoing issue of littering in the local area and the impact it was having on the natural environment.

The litter picking campaign was part of an initiative to protect and maintain Tyndrum and the surrounding areas in support of the #RespectProtectEnjoy campaign from VisitScotland and took place on the last Sunday of every month until 26 December.

Over the four-month period, nearly 100 volunteers, aged 9-83, collected a total of 1.02 tonnes of litter in Tyndrum and the surrounding area, mostly consisting of drinks cans and plastic bottles as well as wet wipes and nappies.

Café manager Colin McGeoch took on the responsibility of providing safe guidance around the litter picking areas as well as providing volunteers with the equipment required.

In return for taking part, volunteers were able to enjoy a free portion of fish and chips for their efforts. The café welcomed volunteers from across Scotland, from Glasgow to Dunblane.

Colin said: ‘These past six months have really been an eye-opener to how committed our community and visitors are to fight the litter issue. We are lucky to live and work in such a stunning part of the world but it’s so important that we maintain the area and do our bit to avoid it becoming a dumping ground.

Michaela Paul and Judy the dog

‘Like most people that visit, we have respect for this tiny corner of Scotland and all its beauty, but from the figures, we know there’s still some way to go. We are overwhelmed by the support and look forward to running the campaign in 2022.’

Co-owner of the Real Food Café and Regional Food Tourism Ambassador for Forth Valley and Stirling Sarah Heward, who created The Tyndrum Infrastructure Group in 2020 has supported Colin with this project.

Sarah said: ‘We are so pleased to share how much of a difference this group has made to the local area and to be part of a project making a difference in Scotland. The problem of littering is still a huge issue in the wider community across rural areas. The infrastructure group prioritises social issues and the lack of availability of services to communities. We will continue our fight against littering and promote recycling as well as working with authorities to secure the necessary facilities to dispose of waste efficiently.’

In October, The Tyndrum Infrastructure Group secured a £10,000 grant from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER Community Development Trust to carry out a feasibility study to make the project a reality.

Find out more at www.therealfoodcafe.com