Communities are being encouraged to bid for a share of up to £500,000 to reduce single-use plastics, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP has announced.
The new Action on Plastic Zero Waste Towns initiative will provide community groups with funding to deliver actions which would benefit their environment and local economy. This could include the introduction of water bottle refill facilities, switching all single-use items in the community to the same material to make recycling easier, or replacing single-use takeaway containers with reusable systems.
Ms Cunningham said:
“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, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland which is delivering the initiative, 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."
CalMac attended the summit, CalMac environmental manager, Klare Chamberlain said:
"We realise the damage that plastics can do to the marine environment, we see examples of it every day. That is what why we as a ferry operator are determined to do all we can to cut down on plastics and encourage the communities we support to do the same.
"So far we have completely removed straws and are now moving on to cups and other plastic packaging such as milk cartons and sauce sachets. Longer term our ambition is to remove as much plastic food packaging on board as possible."
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“In the last year the SNP Government has committed to a deposit return scheme, is investing £500,000 to begin to address marine litter sinks, is carrying out a consultation on proposals to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds and has established an expert panel to advise us of best options to reduce our reliance on single-use items.
“In addition, the ban on the manufacture and sale of microbeads came into force on 19 June.
“Environmental issues are being tackled from all angles and I hope community groups across North Ayrshire will take the opportunity to play their part with help from this £500,000 fund.”