His owners have gathered all the bottles he collected in their yard and will be recycling them after doing a grand count.
Every year, seven billion tonnes of plastic waste is generated around the world and only 10% of these are recycled. While the world struggles to beat these odds of plastic waste management, an adorable dog is doing more than any one of us for tackling it. He is sleeping to clear the streets by collecting hundreds of plastic bottles while on his daily walks. Scruff, a border collie of 13 years, has been called "the eco dog" by locals for doing his bit to save the environment, per Good News Network.
David Grant and Yvonne Faulkner-Grant, Scruff's owners, adopted him from a farm in 2009. He, like many pups, enjoyed playing with sticks, but Yvonne discouraged this habit due to a concern about mouth splinters. Instead, he started playing with plastic bottles. In 2021, Scruff's owners observed his obsession with plastic bottles on their walks. He would pick one bottle and carry it until he found another. Yvonne said, "It seemed wrong that he would pick the bottle up and then drop it again—we thought people would think we were dropping litter. So 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."
Since it had never occurred to their owners previously, the counting began in 2022. Scruff has already retrieved over 1,000 items following a difficult start with only 40 in January. The couple has been using the hashtag #scruffsbottlepatrol to share their pet's environmental credentials on social media for the last year. Yvonne said, "We get such a good reaction on Facebook where Scruff has been dubbed an eco-dog."
Several people have told them that he should work for the council and are absolutely delighted to see him on the streets. David said, "He is such an obedient dog and very friendly—your typical sheepdog. He never chews the bottles or the lids he just [wanted] to play. Now, he seems to go out looking for them on walks." They are presently storing them all on one side of the garden, where they will remain until New Year's when the couple will conduct a thorough inventory. Scruff will continue to clean the streets and parks on his walks in 2023, but the couple has stated that they would recycle the bottles once a month instead.
David explains, "Sometimes he collects 15 and sometimes it’s only one—it depends how dirty the streets are that day. Someone said to me the other day that not all heroes wear capes and that is exactly what I think Scruff is doing—being a hero. If a dog can do it anyone can."
In the videos and pictures posted by the couple on social media, the adorable dog can be seen strutting along the streets, sniffing to find another plastic bottle. He is really saving the environment one bottle at a time and inspiring others to be conscious of their environment and waste production.