Scots communities urged to bid for £500,000 anti-plastics fund

Dozens of companies have signed up to efforts to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025, it has been announced.
Dozens of companies have signed up to efforts to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging by 2025, it has been announced.
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Bids are being invited for a £500,000 fund to reduce single-use plastics.

Community groups and organisations are being urged to apply for a share of the money for initiatives to cut plastic pollution.

Creating water bottle refilling stations or replacing single use takeaway containers with reuseable materials are among projects which could be in line for a slice of the cash, adminstered by Zero Waste Scotland.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced the Action of Plasic Zero Waste Town initiative at a summit in Oban aimed at reducing plastic waster and marine litter.

She said: “No one can escape the momentum that’s been building around plastic waste and marine litter which is why we are bringing communities and the industry together at this summit to come up with new and innovative ways of tackling this problem.

“This new Action on Plastic project will help communities find ways of reducing and reusing materials and preventing them from polluting our seas.”

“As we approach another milestone in our fight against marine litter, when our ban on the manufacture and sale of rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads comes into force, I would encourage every community and organisation in Scotland to consider what it can do to change behaviours and protect our environment.”

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “There’s phenomenal interest right now on the back of the Blue Planet effect from people all over Scotland wanting to take action on reducing waste, especially single-use plastics.

“We’re already supporting a number of trailblazer Zero Waste Towns and this new funding will help us to unlock even more great ideas led by communities to tackle our throwaway culture.”

Meanwhile, a Perthshire school has ditched laminating and brought in replaceable-head toothbrushes for boarding pupils in an effort to becomed free of single-use plastics.

Kilgraston private girls school in Bridge of Earn has also banned cutlery, straws and carrier bags made from plastic and ordered pupils to use refillable water bottles.

Plastic milk bottles are being switched for glass and vegetable suppliers have been told to use cardboard boxes instead of plastic wrapping.

Headmistress Dorothy MacGinty the anti-plastic drive was sparked following the school Christmas show where more than 500 plastic bottles of water were bussed in.

“The recyling pile was horrifying, and that was just one event,” she said.

“Nobody can single-handedly save the planet but single-handedly we can make a difference.”