McDonald’s reopening leads to increase in litter louts in Galashiels

Litter-dropping customers visiting Galashiels newly-reopened McDonald’s outlet have been branded as careless.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 3:17 pm
McDonalds, Galashiels

That criticism comes after residents noticed a marked increase in litter being strewn around Wilderhaugh near the fastfood joint which reopened on Wednesday.

The Golden Arches is now offering drive-through only almost 11 weeks after restaurants closed to customers as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

And while expected traffic chaos, seen elsewhere across the country last week, failed to materialise, there’s been complaints amongst townsfolk over an increase in branded wrappers littering as far across town as Gala Water retail park and Langlee.

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Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine said: “I have a lot of praise for the way McDonald’s has handled the traffic on the road. The fears of congestion have not materialised and they should be congratulated on that.

“In terms of litter and rubbish issues, McDonald’s has staff that are working hard to try and keep the area clean.

“However, when I was out running on Saturday, I saw first hand a young man get out his car, parked behind B&Q, with a full McDonalds bag of rubbish in his hand. There was a bin within 10 metres but he decided to go in the other direction and just dump the bag.

“I did shout about the bin but I’m not sure if he listened to me or not.

“To make matters worse the hard-working McDonald’s employee was less than a 100 metres away picking up rubbish.

“The local environment is important and I call on people to be more careful about how they discard their rubbish no matter where it comes from.”

Fellow councillor Harry Scott also commended the effective no waiting restrictions put in place by Police Scotland along Island Street.

“It is good to see a start to some kind of normal business, and I am glad that some, if not all of McDonald’s staff have managed to retain their employment.

“I have seen the arrangements put in place by the company with regard to the control of traffic into the premises, and the no parking restrictions. Both seem to be working effectively.

“I’m afraid it is not unusual for the small anti-social percentage of our population to throw away their rubbish without any thought to our environment, or for the people who clean up after them. The words I use to describe them are not fit for publication.”

McDonald’s is asking customers to be conscientious with any takeaway waste.

“It’s great to be back, but as we continue to reopen, I want to work with you to prevent littering in the communities surrounding our restaurants,” McDonald’s CEO Paul Pomroy said in an open letter to customers this week.

“It is so important we continue to look after the areas in which we live, we’ve seen the importance of both community spirit and support more than ever in recent weeks. Rest assured that our employees will continue their regular litter patrols around our restaurants, but please do help them and dispose of your rubbish responsibly or take it home with you.”

The chain took a gradual approach to reopening its restaurants as they adapt to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with smaller teams, a limited menu, reduced hours, face coverings and Perspex screens.