Keep Scotland Beautiful – Barry Fisher CEO – 28 March 2023

Barry Fisher is currently the Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful the national charity charged with creating a cleaner, greener, sustainable Scotland. Since graduating from Glasgow University and studying at Auchincruive, Barry has worked in a number of important roles, mostly in the voluntary sector, and was an eloquent and accomplished speaker. This was his second visit to our club and he came along again to update us on KSB’s current strategies and initiatives.

He began by explaining that tackling litter and waste was one of KSB’s three main aims (the other two are combating climate change with net zero emissions by 2045 and protecting/enhancing Scotland’s places).

Barry sees KSB’s primary role as one of inspiring others. KSB alone cannot solve all our environmental problems. However, it can and does inspire and facilitate a wide spectrum of groups and individuals to get out there and do it. Key to reducing the amount of litter and waste is the creation of a “circular economy” meaning Reduce/Reuse/Recycle all our potential waste products and KSB runs a number of important national initiatives to encourage this approach. These include educating schoolchildren in ECO-schools, the My Beach/Your Beach campaign and Upstream Battle tackling marine pollution.

Barry complimented the club on our own efforts to create a cleaner, greener society and drew attention to our forthcoming big beach clean (29th April) which, each year, in association with Ayrshire Coastal Path and others, strives to tidy up as many as twenty beaches along the Ayrshire coast.

In the Q&A session which followed, the consensus was that our culture and attitude to littering had to change and that the best way of doing this was a carrot-and-stick approach i.e. through a programme of education, celebration of successful efforts and stiffer penalties for offenders. Many of us are bewildered by the not-insignificant proportion of the population that appears to think it is acceptable to trash our streets and countryside.

Euan Lawrence thanked Barry for his illuminating presentation and wished KSB success in tackling these important matters.

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Barry (on R) and Euan