Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has paid tribute to local volunteers helping to keep the region clean and tidy.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP was speaking in a debate highlighting the recent Great British Clean event, with many events organised by volunteer groups across Mr Carson’s constituency.
He used his speech to highlight how Galloway’s beautiful coastline and beaches must not be spoiled, and welcomed that people of all ages young and old took part to help clear tonnes of plastic waste from beaches.
He highlighted the work done by DG Eco Warriors, Hardgate Primary School, Plastic Free Communities and the local Oceans Need Us group.
Mr Carson also pointed out the potential benefits of a deposit return scheme, which is currently under consultation, could do to reduce plastic waste on beaches.
Commenting, Finlay Carson MSP said: “Our natural environment in Galloway is absolutely beautiful and we must do everything we can to protect it.
“I applaud all those local volunteers and groups who gave up their time to clean up our beaches but I was saddened to see just how much waste was collected, which shows the scale of the problem we are facing.
“With the Climate Change Bill passing last week, we all need to change our attitudes towards spoiling our environment, to ensure our beautiful landscape can be enjoyed by future generations.
“The Deposit Return Scheme which is currently going through Parliament, has a real potential to reduce plastic waste if it is implemented correctly and as someone scrutinising the plans, I will be doing everything I can to ensure that occurs.
“There really is a phenomenal effort from volunteers across Galloway helping to clear up our stunning beaches and I would encourage that everyone who can offers their support to many of these groups to help them continue their excellent work.”