BEACH cleans have featured in the pages of the Advertiser regularly over recent months and years – but on Saturday afternoon a group of enthusiastic volunteers turned their gazes inland to tackle the litter on Helensburgh’s streets.

The occasion was the first community litter pick organised by the Plastic Free Helensburgh group, which was set up just a few weeks ago but is already setting its sights on big things in the future.

Such was the scale of the problem encountered on Saturday that the seven volunteers – eight if you include one young child – now plan to make a street litter pick a monthly event in the town.

READ MORE: Helensburgh beach cleaners hard at work

Fiona McLeod from Plastic Free Helensburgh said: “Our volunteers did a round of the square, a stretch along the front and back up past the Co-op. In one hour we had lots of positive comments from passers-by and gathered a lot of litter.

“The event was so successful one volunteer was inspired to do a litter pick of her own street the following day and the organisers have decided to make it a monthly event, following on from the Market in the Square each month but perhaps targeting different areas of Helensburgh each time.”

The scale of the problem was illustrated by one volunteer who took as much of the waste home afterwards as she could to sort, count and recycle.

Half of the material picked up was recyclable – and was recycled – and in quantity, the following items were counted from the haul...

One Costa cup; seven Dino’s tubs; one other tub; 29 sugar sachets; 10 Canderel sachets; two tomato ketchup sachets; one tartare sauce sachet; two salt sachets; one pepper sachet; one mint; one fortune cookie; one Heinz ketchup sachet; one wristband from Blairdrummond Safari Park; three cigarette packets; four straws; five coffee cup lids; 27 ice cream spoons; one wooden fork; seven plastic forks; one plastic knife; one plastic spoon; 225 cigarette ends; one polystyrene food container; two sandwich boxes; one ribbon; one balloon; one plant pot; 14 sweet wrappers; nine crisp packets; 17 drink cans; 14 drink bottles; eight wipes; five napkins; and one menu.

READ MORE: Join the anti-litter fight in the National Park

Plastic Free Helensburgh is aiming to achieve ‘Plastic Free Communities’ status from the Surfers Against Sewage organisation, and has to achieve a number of objectives to succeed – including holding at least two community events each year.

For more information on the group, or to keep up with its activities and join in future street litter picks, search Facebook for the ‘Plastic Free Helensburgh’ group and page - and watch this space for a more in-depth article on the group’s efforts.

(Photos – Rohana Dewfall)