The independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) has welcomed the introduction of the mandatory 5p charge for single-use bags taken from shops from today (Monday 20th October). The regulations, agreed by the Scottish Parliament in May, follow similar schemes introduced in Wales and Northern Ireland, where initial results showed a 75-80% reduction in bags used.
Keep Scotland Beautiful has been identified by responsible retailers, large and small as a natural partner. The charities reach into communities gives it unprecedented opportunity to ensure that proceeds from the 5p charge are used to stimulate the improvement of local environmental quality across Scotland. Through their Clean Up Scotland Campaign - Scotland’s anti-litter campaign – 400,000 clean up actions have been registered. They are working across the country to reduce litter and make local environments cleaner, greener and more beautiful.
Following a customer vote, Keep Scotland Beautiful will receive all the proceeds from the 5p charge collected by Scottish Tesco stores for one year, with Initial estimates suggesting proceeds approaching £1M. KSB will re-invest that financial support in environmental projects and initiatives whilst also supporting grass roots activity in communities across Scotland. Photographs of Derek Robertson launching the partnership with Tesco and Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs are available - see notes to editor.
Welcoming the introduction of the 5p charge, Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:
“We have always been clear that the bag charge can be a major stimulus for improvement in local environmental quality in Scotland. Reducing potential litter and eliminating plastic waste are key benefits that everyone should welcome.”
"The introduction of the Scottish Government legislation brings Scotland in line with many countries across Europe where it is estimated that some 800 billion carrier bags are used each year. This is clearly unsustainable particularly given the considerable environmental impact they have when discarded into the litter chain. So it is encouraging that there is now an opportunity for the people of Scotland to play their part”
“Our work with Tesco will make the best use possible of the money they collect from the bag charge. We have a unique reach across Scotland to deliver real change with these funds. We’ve delivered significant environmental improvements before, and these bag charge proceeds will allow us to do more, making Scotland cleaner, greener and more sustainable.
"This new charge for bags will be transformational for the environment."