Ellis gets award for plastic campaign

Keep Scotland Beautiful community project officer Heather McLaughlin presents the award to Ellis McNeil
Keep Scotland Beautiful community project officer Heather McLaughlin presents the award to Ellis McNeil

Bothwell youngster Ellis McNeil has received the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of his ongoing efforts to protect his local environment.

The award is part of the national Clean Up Scotland campaign, organised by environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Ellis (12) is closely linked with Brighter Bothwell and Uddingston Pride and was an active member of the eco committee during his time at Bothwell Primary.

The Uddingston Grammar pupil is now leading his own ‘Last Straw’ campaign, which is encouraging people to consider using fewer straws and switching to paper straws instead of plastic.

As part of his campaign, Ellis presented his ideas at an assembly in Bothwell Primary and has already visited five local hospitality outlets to discuss their use of plastic straws.

He is now working with the eco coordinator of Uddingston Grammar to try and link the primary and secondary schools together to continue raising awareness.

Ellis was nominated for the award by a Keep Scotland Beautiful judge who was very impressed by his efforts whilst visiting Brighter Bothwell in August.

He told the three visiting judges about his campaign around single-use straws and how the Brighter Bothwell group was supporting him in his efforts to spread the message more widely.

Ellis said: “Watching Blue Planet 2 on television I have learned about the risks to our oceans, from our own irresponsibility.

“I became very concerned about the damage done by plastic and have started a campaign to make Bothwell a plastic-free area. My first aim is to encourage people to use paper straws instead of plastic straws.”

Ellis was presented with the award at Brighter Bothwell’s annual event to thank volunteers for their support and celebrate success in Beautiful Scotland 2018 by Keep Scotland Beautiful’s community project officer Heather McLaughlin.

She said: “At such a young age, it is fantastic to see Ellis so enthusiastic and committed to protecting his local environment.”

The award is supported by The Helping Hand Company who provide each Hero with a Clean Up kit including a new Scottish litter picker and handy hoop.

Visit www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland to find out more.