SCOTS star Martin Compston and Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan have backed a campaign to rid the River Clyde of land-based litter, which could be adopted by other European cities.

The 18-month drive – the first of its kind – aims to encourage the public to consider the impact of discarding waste, particularly plastic, which ends up in the water, devastating marine life.

It is understood that Sir David Attenborough may have a role to play in the campaign as well, which will include a mass volunteering programme, school talks and detailed surveys.

It is estimated that 1.8 million people – approximately 35 per cent of Scotland’s population – live in the River Clyde catchment area. The Upstream Battle campaign aims to clean up the entire length of the River Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills.

It will include the rivers Kelvin, Leven, Avon and the White and Black Cart, and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Local businesses on the Clyde will be encouraged to play a role.

Recent research has estimated that 12.7 million tonnes of waste enters the marine environment every year around the globe and the European Commission has estimated that 80 per cent of marine waste originates from irresponsible disposal onshore.

Launching the campaign, Allan, who is about to start working on Frozen Planet 2 with David Attenborough, said: “The people are the root of the campaign and I don’t want to go nagging, but just don’t drop litter.

“I think particularly youngsters are the ones we can approach the best and get the adults out of bad habits.

“It’s a cultural thing. The Japanese at the World Cup, at the end of the game they would pick up the litter that they had dropped.

“It’s not revolutionary. Last year I went to a place called the Chagos Archipeligo, which is in the middle of the Indian ocean. It’s one of the most pristine coral reefs in the world. The amount of litter that was there on the high tide could walk across the middle of it.

“We had a team on Blue Planet 2 and right at the bottom of the deepest ocean you would find a plastic bottle.

“We want people to take pride in the River Clyde. We don’t tell people what to do, we want to nudge them in the right direction.

“It to be a rallying call and I think beause it’s just 18 months, there will be a real focus.”

Of Sir David, he said: “He’s one of the world’s remarkable men. He is genuinely generous and interested and has the gift of making everyrone from a five-year-old to a head of state interested.

“He will reply to every letter he gets and he is just a very rare man in this age.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP are partners in the Upstream Battle campaign, which is funded by a range of organisations including Crown Estate Scotland, ScotMid and RCP/bpi. It is supported by the Scottish Government and a broad range of public agencies, as well as some high-profile ambassadors:

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “Our research clearly shows that people across Scotland are deeply concerned by the amount of litter finding its way into our rivers and oceans, and now is the time to start the fightback against the plague of ocean waste.

“This 18-month campaign will aim to educate about the scale of the problem and motivate them to play their part in tackling it. We need to think differently about litter and how we dispose of it. The evidence is clear - the drinks bottle or crisp packet discarded in our streets, has a fair chance of ending up in our river and polluting the ocean. That has to stop.”