It was a good day to kick off Upstream Battle’s Week of Action – the sun was shining, the water was flowing and litter was aplenty.

Indicating the vital need for regular litter clean-ups, a group of 20 volunteers gathered yesterday to pick up litter from the areas surrounding the Clydeside and graveyard of Govan Old Parish Church and successfully filled 23 bags.

Among the rubbish were car seats, electricity cables, bottles and cans, cigarette ends and even an electricity meter. Pillows and the metal structure of a lampshade were also collected.

Louise Broach, from Keep Scotland Beautiful, helped to facilitate the clean-up.

“We’re here today to launch our week of action for our campaign called Upstream Battle.

“Upstream Battle really focuses on the Clyde and it’s tributaries and it’s trying to tackle the marine litter problem that we have.

“A lot of people don’t realise this, but 85% of marine litter starts its life online, just from people littering in the streets or the wind blowing out of bins to the seas. This ends in the ocean.”

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Ingrid Shearer, Glasgow Building and Preservation Trust’s Heritage Engagement Officer for the West Boathouse Project, also took part in the litter picking. To her, the events raise fundamental awareness of the issues that littering causes. What does she think the public can do to help?

“There’s been a lot of publicity around plastic over the last couple of years but I don’t know if people make the connection between what they do as individuals: it seems like it’s too big to take on for one single person.”

Ingrid believes that regular clean-ups of the River Clyde will help to change the perception of the river, and possibly the city.

“The geographic extent of the West Boathouse project is a big sweep of the river upstream. It’s a well used stretch, and a fair bit of litter is there too. Events like these are great for trying to change perceptions of the River Clyde. People have a dysfunctional relationship with their river in this city. People get misty eyed about it, or think its dangerous or dead or dirty, but it’s a living thing and it needs to be cared for.”

Much of the event was getting rid of litter, but also sourcing where it originates.

Sally Johnstone, from Friends of the River Kelvin, took some surveys of litter dropped, focusing on the churchyard of host, Govan Old Paris Church.

READ MORE: Upstream Battle: Campaign launched to help clean up the River Clyde

“We wanted to bring the two major rivers together, the River Clyde and the River Kelvin. We want to record the litter that is dropped in the area. Next month we will meet again on the north shore.

“We took a survey of the area around the Churchyard, and it revealed a lot of the litter rolls into the Clyde with the wind.”

The next event is a clean-up at Glasgow Green and the Gorbals on Thursday and the week is rounded off with a screening of “A Plastic Ocean” in the Glad Cafe that evening.