SCOTTISH actor Martin Compston and Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan have backed a campaign to clean the Clyde of land based litter.

The 18-month drive aims to encourage the public to consider the impact of discarding waste, particularly plastic, which ends up in the water and devastates marine life.

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

The Upstream Battle campaign aims to clean up the entire length of the Clyde, from its source in the Lowther Hills, to the rivers Leven, Kelvin, Avon and the White and Black Cart, and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

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

Launching the campaign, Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan said: “The people are the root of the campaign.

“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, would pick up the litter that they had dropped.

“Last year I went to a place called the Chagos Archipelago, 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 line – you could walk across the middle of it.

“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.

“I think because it’s just 18 months, there will be a real focus.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful and RECOUP are partners in the campaign, which is funded by organisations including Crown Estate Scotland, Scotmid and RCP/bpi.

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “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.”