The SSPCA is encouraging people in Ayrshire to support an initiative asking dog owners to pick up two pieces of litter when out on a walk.

Paws on Plastic was started by Marion Montgomery from Ayr, as a way to combat the harmful effects of litter and in particular, plastic.

Marion said: “As a responsible dog owner, I was walking my dogs with spare poo bags in my pocket and often noticed the same pieces of rubbish every day.

“It really just came to me that if I removed it, it made a difference and it could save a life. The beauty of it is that it only takes a minute when we’re out walking anyway but with 20,000 of us, it really does add up - to over 30 million pieces a year in fact.

Irvine Times:

“Our aim is that it becomes just a normal part of an everyday dog walk. All we ask is for a couple of pieces on every walk so it only takes a minute and is open to everyone, regardless of age or ability.

“The bonus is that it has a double effect as studies show that when streets are clean, less litter is actually dropped as you remove the easy excuse that ‘everyone does it’.

“I’d encourage all dog owners across Scotland to join us.”

The SSPCA saw an increase of 17 per cent in calls about litter from January 1 to March 31, compared to the previous year.