An eight-year-old north-east boy who started his own club in bid to cut down on rubbish in the community has been praised by an MSP.
Eco-friendly Thomas Truby, who started his own group called The Rubbish Club to tackle the problem of litter in the north-east, has even been invited to team-up with Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett for a clean-up event.
Torphins Primary School pupil Thomas started the club in February when he was 7 years old after he was inspired by BBC1’s nature documentary Blue Planet.
Recently, Thomas received a letter from Mr Burnett commending him.
The letter thanked Thomas for inspiring others to make a difference to the environment, and Mr Burnett has also asked if Thomas would like to “join forces” with him to help clean-up Aberdeenshire this summer.
Mr Burnett said: “Thomas deserves enormous credit for rolling his sleeves up and getting stuck into the litter problem in Torphins.
“We should all be doing our bit to help preserve the environment – especially in an area that relies so heavily on tourism.
“I was out recently near Banchory with my daughter and was astonished that we were able to fill three large bin bags full of rubbish.
“I hope to join forces with Thomas for an event this summer, and am hopeful that we can announce a date soon.”
The youngster’s mum Gayl Truby, 45, from Torphins spoke of her pride at her son’s efforts.
Speaking of how the club started she said: “We were out for a walk when he said ‘I hate seeing all this plastic everywhere’ and when we got back home he said ‘I think I’m going to have to set up a club’. From there he drew posters and had them put up around the village – local businesses also put them up to help spread the word.”
To be part of the club, community members just need to head out and pick up the rubbish in their area.
As part of the youngster’s mission for a cleaner north-east, he organised a beach clean at Aberdeen Beach at the end of March where he saw 27 people turn out to help clear litter.
Gayl said: “He was delighted to see so many people come out since the aim for the club is to raise awareness.”
The group managed to collect 12 bags of rubbish, one bicycle wheel, one large crushed plastic tub and one large heavy black pipe from the beach.
Gayl added: “We are so proud of him. It’s so nice to see him take such a great interest in the environment.
“He’s hoping to organise a litter pick in the future with his school, but right now he goes out with his trolley he got for his birthday and takes a walk around the school.
“He picks up the litter around there and his aunt got him litterpickers for his birthday – he was so chuffed.
“Sometimes he organises playdates, but sometimes it turns out to be litter pick.”
His mum has said that Thomas wants to become a marine biologist when he is older, after environmentalist David Attenborough, who narrated Blue Planet, highlighted the impact plastic in the sea can have on the environment.
She added: “The documentary definitely made an impact on him – on all of us really.”
Gayl said Thomas was delighted Mr Burnett has taken an interest in his project.
She added: “Mr Burnett has asked if in July there might be anything an opportunity to join forces – we’ll see what he has planned.
“The response in general has been so lovely, especially from the Facebook page. Thomas loves reading the comments and seeing pictures from people in the area go out and litter pick – it’s really encouraging for him.”
Thomas has also opted for a more eco-friendly approach indoors as well.
Gayl said: “He’s had us switch to bamboo brushes and he’s trying to encourage his dad to switch to an electric car.
“We are very proud of him and it is so nice to see him take such a great interest in the environment.”