Paws on Plastic Program Encourages Dog Walkers to Help the Environment

A charity initiative in Scotland is working to gradually clear the landscape of litter by encouraging dog owners and dog walkers to pick up plastic trash during their normal daily walks.

The name of the initiative is Paws On Plastic, and it was founded in 2018 by primary school teacher Marion Montgomery, who lives in a town called Stonehaven in the North East of Scotland. It has attracted 21,000 dog owners and followers from over 70 countries across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and boasts 23,000 members. Between them, up to 30 million pieces of litter are removed from parks, beaches, and the countryside each year – an astounding achievement considering the initiative’s modest origins.

plastic bottles
Photo: Pixabay/Hans

Paws on Plastic

Their website notes, “Paws on Plastic revolves around the simple but effective idea of using daily dog walks as an opportunity to pick up a few bits of litter. With over 12 million dogs in the U.K. alone, imagine the positive impact if we all got involved.”

And this is a brilliant point to make. Can you imagine if people all over the world followed suit and began their own branches of the clean-up initiative?

“We’ve had an unbelievable start to the year,” Montgomery noted in an interview with The National. “January can be a hard month for many people, and New Year resolutions often fall by the wayside by now. Picking up a few pieces of litter is such a simple but extremely satisfying thing to do when we are out walking our dogs.”

dog walker
Photo: Pixabay/MabelAmber

Plastic Waste

According to Our World in Data, global plastic production in 2019 reached an astonishing 460 million tons! As a result, plastic pollution is harming our oceans, wildlife, and our own personal health.

Montgomery added: “The beauty of Paws on Plastic is that no extra time or effort is required, as it only takes a minute to pick up a couple of pieces of litter as part of your everyday dog walking routine.

“It’s fantastic for mental health – really empowering and satisfying to take a simple positive action that has an immediate and visible impact. It shows the real desire among dog owners to protect wildlife and our precious environment from harm.”

plastic bottles
Photo: Pixabay/MatthewGollop

Getting Involved

It wouldn’t take much to start your own arm of Paws on Plastic or a similar program in your own town. You can check out their website at the link we provided or find them on their social media platforms to ask questions. Regardless, the next time you take your dog or dogs for a walk, consider bringing an extra bag for plastic and other trash.

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!