A border collie in central England has been dubbed the “eco-dog” after using his daily walks to help his humans clean up and recycle more than a thousand plastic bottles left behind as litter.

Scruff goes on two daily walks with his guardians, Yvonne Faulkner-Grant and David Grant. When stick fetching started scratching up the inside of Scruff’s mouth, the family’s veterinarian advised he stop.

But the 13-year-old dog enjoys having a task, and retrieving and collecting items comes naturally to him, his family said.  Scruff redirected his energy one day by picking up a discarded plastic bottle — and so started a new pastime that has led to a movement for the planet.

Now Scruff picks up an average of four to five bottles every day. When he finds a bottle, he tends to drop it once he finds another, more interesting one. That’s when the Grants step in and collect the discarded bottles in a bag.

In one year, Scruff has picked up more than 1,000 bottles, according to news reports. While the Grants are currently collecting them to count them, they plan to recycle the bottles in the coming year.

David Grant said he hopes Scruff’s dedication to cleaning up his community “sends a good message to people around the world to just pick (litter) up and not leave it to animals to do it,” according to NBC.

“We wouldn’t be doing this if people picked the litter up in the first place,” he added. “If a dog can do it, anyone can.”

Lady Freethinker encourages everyone to minimize the purchase of single-use plastics and reduce the strain on our environment by recycling when possible. Here are five ways you can join Scruff in caring for the Earth today:

  • Stop using plastic straws – They can easily get stuck in the mouths and noses of sea life and be mistaken for food.

  • Reuse your shopping bags – A simple way to cut plastic usage is to use bags that you already have.

  • Give up gum – Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.

  • Purchase products in boxes, not plastic bottles – Cardboard decomposes so it is far better for our environment.

  • Eat fresh produce that doesn’t come in plastic cartons and boxes – This will work out better for you as you’ll be eating fresh produce and also saving the planet: a win-win situation!

To keep up with the border collie’s recycling adventures, you can tune in to the Grant family’s monthly report via the hashtag #scruffsbottlepatrol.