The Coastline Runner - also known as environmentalist Luke Douglas-Home - was met by Provost John McMillan, local volunteers and the Scottish Seabird Centre as he set off on his latest journey.

The Coastline Runner has been covering the coasts of the UK as part of his mission – to run around much of the UK’s coastline, collecting ocean-bound rubbish and meeting local people and councils to impact and influence their schemes that prevent ocean waste. 

Since launching in November 2021, he’s run more than 500 miles of the UK’s coastline and collected in excess of 500kg of rubbish. He has covered the east coast, all the way from Lowestoft, in Suffolk.

The Coastline Runner meets local councillors, landlords, businesses and school pupils to find out and transmit what’s going on at all levels. Small actions, like the ice cream vendors on the beach deciding not to give out plastic spoons make a huge difference to ocean plastics, as do improved signage and binfrastructure – his mission is to share good work and influence others to follow. 

His day job is running ‘A Future without Rubbish CIC’; an environmental impact consultancy that works with schools, councils, businesses and communities on improving environmental impacts. 

On Friday morning, Luke began his latest run - a 30km stretch from North Berwick to Portobello. He was met by local groups, volunteers, school pupils and representatives of East Lothian Council and the Scottish Seabird Centre.

Speaking about his initiative, Luke says: “Collecting rubbish and putting it in the bin as I run is a tiny action – something we can all do, and it’s this idea of working together that has an impact. I have been constantly energised, by all the good actions that I have seen, from Lowestoft.
“We must see waste reduction as the starting point, not recycling. There is a long way to go, but people are waking up and taking their own actions, which is wonderful to see. If people see what I’m doing then realise they can do it too, it’s making an impact. I say to everyone who litters – “Pack it in! Put it in the bin!” and that would stop the need for me running coasts collecting plastic pollution!” 

Councillor John McMillan, Provost and Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment, Economic Development and Tourism, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Luke to East Lothian and learn more about his mission covering the coasts of the UK, as he sets off on his 30km run from North Berwick to Portobello. Our communities care deeply about our natural environment, which is undoubtedly a huge part of what makes East Lothian special. Over the years local groups and individuals, as well as council staff and countryside rangers, have worked hard to keep our stunning coastline clean and looking its best for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. But we know that there is a need for everyone to continue playing their part and take individual responsibility to prevent ocean waste and enhance the environment. Luke’s mission is an opportunity to highlight the importance of this message and we wish him well for the remainder of his journey.”

The Coastline Runner will be wearing Vibram shoes – who manufacture shoes with minimal waste – and wearing Waterhaul sunglasses – made from recovered ocean plastic. 

Published: Friday, 1st December 2023