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New fund aims to ditch single-use plastic in the isles

A new funding package, administered by Zero Waste Scotland, aims to reduce single-use packaging in isles shops.

Scotland’s islands could lead a revolution in the way we shop with financial support being provided to eradicate wasteful packaging.

That’s the hope of Zero Waste Scotland, which will administer a total of £600,000 in grant funding to empower shops from Scottish islands to take their next steps in the war on waste. The funding, provided by the Scottish Government and European regional development fund, will be encouraging businesses to ditch single-use packaging and move to reusable options.

According to Zero Waste Scotland, single-use grocery packaging, from tubs and trays to bottles and bags account for around 13 per cent of all household waste across the country.

Finance from the Islands Green Recovery Plan – Refillery Fund will be provided for dispensing and other equipment which enables customers to obtain grocery products in reusable containers brought from home. This includes dispensers for dry goods such as cereals, pulses, grains, herbs, spices, pasta and rice, liquid items such as milk, fruit juices, oils and vinegars, and other products such as laundry detergents, washing up liquids, fabric softeners and liquid soaps.

Some pioneering shops have already started using package free dispensers but the new scheme would see cash made available to existing small and medium sized enterprises in the isles to make the transition.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:“Island communities have to bear the double burden of dealing with imported single-use items and then the shipping-off of waste.

“This scheme gives shops on the islands the chance to be ahead of the game and at the forefront of a positive change. The financial help we are making available will enable outlets to make this significant positive step.

“There is an understanding among communities about the damage done by single-use packaging as they see the effects in the countryside, beaches and seas around them.

“As well as reducing waste, by opting for reuse we also reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating the need to extract, transport and manufacture materials to make new products.”

The scheme is part of a larger £2million programme designed to inspire locally-led green projects as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more and get involved, you can contact IGRP@zerowastescotland.org.uk or visit https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/funding/single-use-packaging-targeted-islands-green-recovery-programme  

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