IT is good to see litter and its problems getting an increasingly higher profile, both in your Letters Pages and in general ("Loch's latest weapon in the war on trash", The Herald, February 7, and Letters, February 8), and having just come back from France and compared the relative lack of litter on their roadsides with ours, I must agree with Graeme McCormick (February 8), that we are "a nation of clarty middens". However, there are groups within our country who seem worse as far as littering is concerned. Our cigarette smokers seem impervious to the litter they cause, cigarette ends, packets and possibly worse for our wildlife, the cellophane wrapping, which are prevalent amongst the items dropped in our streets and countryside.

There is a simple solution to this, which I was made aware of on my ski holiday in France. A resort called Les Gets has been issuing pocket ashtrays to skiers who smoke. They started this after realising that when the snow melted, the cigarette ends, which take years to degrade, were all over their slopes, affecting the wildlife and their tourist industry, which includes downhill mountain bikers, hill walkers and others who visit their area in the summer. They give these ashtrays out free, and I have been trying to get my local golf club and rugby club to adopt them as both have a significant similar problem.

These ashtrays are inexpensive, costing about 90p online and to date, more than 1,000 golf clubs worldwide have them available for their members and visitors. I feel if we can get to the smokers and make them litter-conscious, that would make significant inroads into our chronic litter situation. Road users next.

Allan Merry,

Eglinton Road, Ardrossan.

THE appointment of a litter officer for Loch Lomond National Park may help alleviate the problems of litter. But I would like to point out that the pedestrian/cycle route from the south to the national park, namely, the path along the River Leven from Glasgow, though Dumbarton and Alexandria, is a notable dropping area for all sorts of litter. On my regular walks on this route I always carry a re-useable bag, and never fail to arrive at Balloch without the bag over-flowing with cans, plastic and glass bottles, and polystyrene fast-food containers.

A few more litter bins along the route might help; unfortunately, West Dunbartonshire Council informs me that when bins are located on the path they are quickly vandalised. I don't know what the answer is.

Rose Harvie,

82 Bonhill Road, Dumbarton.