Social media campaigns across the north-east have taken off in the past year – attracting worldwide attention.
One success story was Paws on Plastic, started by primary school teacher Marion Montgomery.
While walking her dog in her home of Stonehaven, she noticed how much rubbish was lying around and how much she could pick up while out walking.
After setting up the group on Facebook and Twitter, Paws on Plastic has now reached more than 11,000 members.
Marion said: “As a primary teacher who started this campaign while on long-term sick leave, I can certainly testify to the feeling of wellbeing and achievement it gives.
“In a busy world, this campaign offers something to give people a way to feel they are making a visible contribution to the plastic pollution and climate crisis we face, and will hopefully also change the negative perception many have of dog owners, caused by an irresponsible minority.
“Although impossible to estimate, the quantity of litter removed from our environment, even if 11,000 of us pick up just two pieces on two daily walks, that equates to 44,000 pieces every day or over 16 million pieces a year – quite an impact.
“Given the increasing realisation of the impact of plastic pollution, more and more people wish to do their own bit to help, but it can be overwhelming not knowing where to start.
“Being able to do something simple as part of their everyday routine gives an enormous feeling of wellbeing and achievement for everyone, young or old, and has an enormous impact with so many of us doing it, as we can clearly see in Stonehaven.
“With 250 dog owners picking up every day, our town is noticeably clean. Studies certainly show people drop less litter on clean streets, so our efforts have a double effect.”
Another north-east charity has seen so much success through social media it has had to repeatedly ask people to stop donating.
New Arc, an animal welfare charity which takes in injured animals and helps nurse them back to full health before releasing them, made an appeal for mascara wands to allow staff to brush baby animals.
However, they got more than they bargained for, receiving wands every day.
It’s not the first time the owners have run a successful campaign, after appealing for knitted jumpers for chickens in 2016.
Keith Marley from the charity said: “I don’t think there’s a single day where there hasn’t been a mascara wand delivery.
“It’s been hugely successful. It shows that people want to make the effort to help.”
The plea was originally set up to allow New Arc to upcycle old mascara wands.
However, its owners said around 65% of the wands received have been bought new.
Keith added: “We’ll be able to brush pretty much every single animal in the north-east.
“We’ve passed them on to most of our friends who might be able to use them.
“We’ve had wands from Europe, America, Australia even. There’s not many countries we haven’t received them from.
“We’ve had two really successful campaigns now, chicken jumpers and the wands.
“Social media is one of those things, I love it and I hate it at the same time. It’s done the charity a great deal of good.”
The excess wands have been sent to other animal welfare charities across the country, and the appeal is now closed.