Zero Waste Scotland is on the lookout for partners to tackle the growing environmental problem of disposable throwaway products through a series of projects that eliminate single-use items from the nation’s communities and everyday lives.
The impact of throwaway items on the natural world is becoming increasingly prominent and an international issue that, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Zero Waste Scotland says it is working to address with the “Action on Plastics” initiative.
Organisers want to hear from community groups as well as potential contractors that would like to address the waste problem through reduction projects.
A total of up to £500,000 will be allocated by Zero Waste Scotland to a range of contractors to deliver innovative measures to help eradicate disposable plastics and other materials at events, community spaces or within businesses.
Organisations interested in tendering to provide the expertise behind the scheme can submit a tender through Public Contracts Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland has already been in contact directly with several community groups and would like to hear from any others that wish to take part in trials.
The flagship series of pilot projects is looking to encourage and develop replicable projects that deliver innovative approaches to how we work and minimise waste.
Items such as bottles, cups, straws, stirrers, food containers, condiment sachets, cable ties and event goody bags are amongst the items being targeted as part of the project.
We want to establish a clear hierarchy to show it’s best to get rid of disposable items altogether, use re-useable items wherever possible, and maximise the recycling of any remaining single-use items…
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Since Blue Planet we have seen an overwhelming desire to tackle single use plastics which is fantastic to see, but there is still a lot of confusion about what is a sustainable alternative.
“One example of this is the widespread move to using paper straws instead of plastic ones. It’s better for marine litter, but paper straws are often not recycled and will produce methane in landfill which contributes to the climate emergency.
“We want to establish a clear hierarchy to show it’s best to get rid of disposable items altogether, use re-useable items wherever possible, and maximise the recycling of any remaining single-use items, but we have to properly test these approaches in real life situations first. These ground-breaking projects will do that.”
Action on Plastics is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Organisations that would like to bid to deliver an Action on Plastics project can view the full invitation to tender on the Public Contracts Scotland website.
If your organisation does not wish to bid to be a contractor, but would like to receive support from a contractor to deliver action on single use items in your community, please email email@example.com by 1st August to request your contact details to be shared with bidders, so they can contact you to discuss supporting you as part of their bid.