NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: Scruff is a border collie, a dog breed known for intelligence. He is using his intelligence to make the environment where he lives more ecologically friendly. He seems very strongly motivated to pick up any plastic bottle that he can see and, my god, there are a lot of plastic bottles lying around the countryside and in urban environments.
It is estimated that British households are failing to recycle around 16 million plastic bottles every day. The world needs dogs like Scruff.
He is 13 years old and lives in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, UK. He’s been dubbed the “eco-dog” by locals. His owners, David Grant and Yvonne Faulkner-Grant, estimate that he has collected at least 1000 this year.
It all started when they noticed that he liked to pick up plastic bottles and then drop them. The Telegraph newspaper reports that he started off with collecting twigs and moved onto bottles. At that stage he wasn’t recovering them. They trained him to bring the plastic bottles back to them and placed them in a large bag for recycling.
“It seemed wrong that he would pick up the bottle and then drop it again. We got him to start bringing the bottles to us and we put them in a bag and then count them up at the end of the walk”-Faulkner-Grant.
She also remarked that:
“Now, he will see one on the other side of the road and look at me as if to say, ‘Can I get it?’ I’d say that he will have collected at least 1,000 this year.”
Grant says that Scruff should be working for the local authority given his expertise at collecting 15 bottles a day.
It must disrupt their walks but if you look at it from a different point of view it might add to their walks.
Even a neighbour has recognised the proficiency of Scruff in cleaning up the countryside. She is a family friend who also walks scruff and she said:
“[He] will not go past a bottle without picking it up. He’s so intelligent. He will always stop on his walk and won’t move on until he is picked it up. If you’re in a field with him, he will be off the lead and away”.
He gets a treat for a job well done according to The Times newspaper. A fair reward for an environmentally conscious pooch.
They collect all the bottles and take them to a recycling centre in monthly batches.
Some pages on plastic pollution are below: