The constituency of Edinburgh Eastern is home to some of the most beautiful parts of the capital, with a great diversity of residential communities, green spaces and coastal areas. However, an issue that is repeatedly raised with me by constituents is the problem of littering, plastic rubbish and fly-tipping. It is clear to me that this is not an isolated problem, and that there is a significant need for a coordinated effort to combat rubbish being littered throughout the constituency.

I am committed to taking this problem seriously, and will help to coordinate substantive efforts to clean up the constituency. The recent litter clean up with Brunstane Primary School is a great example of successful community action. There are several environmental organisations and community groups that I will be reaching out to in order to assist in raising awareness of littering, and organise further clean ups and beach cleans in the constituency.

There is much we can do ourselves to help with littering, much of which is made up of single use plastic.

Join me in taking part in #PlasticFreeFriday, and commit to not using single use plastic just one day of the week. There are many ways to get around using single use plastic that then ends up in our parks, by the side of our roads and in rivers and the ocean. I will be posting examples on social media, so follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for tips.

If you come across large amounts of rubbish in the constituency, take a photo and tweet it at me @ashtenRD with the hashtag #edinburgheasternlitter or send it to my facebook page. This will help us map the areas affected by litter and will also build a bank of evidence that I can then present to the council.

Everyone deserves to live in a neighbourhood they can take pride in. It’s time to tackle litter in our communities. Together we can make a difference.