PLASTICS in the River Clyde are contributing towards a worldwide environmental disaster, MSP Gil Paterson has said.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP has highlighted the problem at a trouble spot in Clydebank at Queens Quay.
A section of the shore is littered in bottles, container and manufactured debris washed up – and is a stark example of what ends up in the river
Mr Paterson’s call for action ties in with global condemnation of how plastics are polluting the ocean, killing marine life and even getting into food supplies.
He said: “It is estimated only 30 per cent of plastics we use are being recycled – the rest are ending up in landfills and increasingly in our oceans.
“In our oceans, plastics are causing the death of thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals. Some rare species now face extinction due to the scale of the problem.
“The River Clyde itself is awash with plastics and what is not washed up will inevitably end up somewhere in the world’s oceans.
“I think everyone agrees we need to do more to tackle the way in which we dispose of plastics – especially the likes of plastic bottles.
“We need to double down on our efforts to recycle or risk ruining our oceans – the power authorities possess over our seas is simply not enough. We need to encourage a cultural shift, which I think is happening.
“In December, the European Parliament and Council voted through a new plan to recycle 65 per cent of urban waste but I am very saddened to see it has come to light the UK Tory Government opposes this plan despite making big claims about how they want to tackle plastics in our oceans.
“The UK Tory Government cannot grandstand about recycling targets then quietly oppose them when a proper initiative is launched – it’s absolute hypocrisy.”