McAlpine to host #CleanBeachesScotland event in Parliament

Some of the 10 billion tonnes of plastic dumped in our oceans will wash up in the Scottish Parliament this week – showcased as art.

MSPs will see at first hand the beach litter in their own constituencies in the awareness raising exercise, which is sponsored by Joan McAlpine, MSP for South Scotland and convener of the Parliament’s Culture Committee.


Artist Julia Barton’s ‘Littoral Art’ Project exhibition uses detritus collected from 120 Scottish beaches, including fishing twine and nets, cotton buds, micro-beads and packaging which takes hundreds of years to break down and is already present in marine organisms.


Julia and her colleague Sita Goudie from the Shetland Amenity Trust’s ‘Dunna Chuck Bruck’ campaign will be sharing their knowledge of what works at a community level, and asking MSPs to pledge action and support to reduce, recover and recycle waste within our economy rather than allow it to leach into the marine environment.


This includes East Lothian where fishermen, the harbour masters, surfers and the wider community work together to keep the coast clean. 


In partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, the event will give MSPs the chance to learn about successful ways of tackling marine litter in Scotland.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

“Julia’s Littoral Art project is a really creative way of showcasing just how much plastics and other marine litter has become part of our coastal environment.

“When I first met with Julia I thought her sci-fi art exhibition would be a great way to really drive home the message to MSPs of the impact of such litter – art really is a great way of engaging with the important issues of the day and can make a difference.

“The event and exhibition will also celebrate the many successful projects and initiatives across the country that are tackling the problem, and cleaning up our beaches.”

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society said:

“Public awareness and media profile of our seas and the threats they face has never been higher.

“This exciting and timely event will shed light on the dire impacts of marine litter on our beaches and marine wildlife, but will also celebrate some of the ways we’re tackling this problem, and galvanise support for the many actions still needed to clean up our seas.”

This collaborative event is open to MSPs, researchers and invited guests. The #CleanBeachesScotland Exhibition will be on show along with key information displays from:


  • SAMS – Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • SAT – Shetland Amenity Trust
  • FIDRA – Environmental Charity based in East Lothian
  • KIMO – Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation
  • MCS – Marine Conservation Society

The exhibition will run from the 12th to the 14th of December, with the event to be held on the evening of the 13th.

For more information of the artist’s work visit:

Current events and wider lobbying can be followed @LittoralArt

Comments from Julia’s recent exhibitions can be viewed at:

Further information on the Marine Conservation Society at:

Further information on the Shetland Amenity Trust:

Dunna Chuck Bruck Facebook page:

All photographs courtesy of Alan McCredie.