Highland Council approves new strategy to reduce single use plastics
8th November 2018
Highland Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to develop a holistic strategy and action plan to reduce the consumption of single use plastics from its sites and schools, and the wider community. The strategy and action plan was approved at a meeting of the Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (8 November 2018).
Awareness of the significant environmental damage being caused globally by single use plastics has been raised in the public consciousness, and there is widespread momentum and support to reduce our dependency on these items. The Council recognises that, as the local authority having the longest coastline in Scotland, the region has a key role to play in reducing plastic waste as part of its overall sustainable waste strategy.
Vice Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr. Trish Robertson said: "The strategy outlines how the Council plans to address this significant issue and includes a number of actions to be undertaken over the next 18 months including removing non-essential single use items and working with our suppliers to identify sustainable alternatives where appropriate. We will also review recycling infrastructure in key locations across our estate including piloting onsite compost facilities at Lochaber High School and the Council's headquarters in Inverness."
Cllr. Jimmy Gray, the Administration's lead for the Environment said: "The issue of discarded plastics and marine pollution is high on the political agenda and the national and international picture in respect of tackling the issue of single use plastics is moving at pace. This is a dynamic strategy which will be updated to reflect changes in Government policy and industry practice along with community actions and responses."
Cllr. Liz MacDonald, who is a member of the Council's Single Use Plastics Working Group said: "We recognise the Council has a leadership role to play in encouraging communities and businesses to take action to remove plastic waste and litter from the environment. A network will be created to link pro-active businesses and communities together to share best practice.
"The Council also recognises the good progress businesses across the region are already making in respect of reducing their reliance on single use plastics. In my ward there are various terrific environmental initiatives such as Green Hive and James' Cafe in Nairn and they deserve credit for their efforts."
Cllr. Robertson added: "The Wildcat Cafe in Fort William is an excellent example of a local business which is striving, and winning, in the battle to become plastic free. They no longer provide disposable cups, encouraging customers to bring their own cup, purchase a reusable cup or borrow a ceramic cup which can be returned to a number of collection points in Fort William. The Cafe has its own shop, where customers can refill their own bags and containers with bread, vegetables, cleaning product refills, and unpackaged dry goods."
The Manager of the Wildcat Cafe, Stephen Kershaw said: "Customers have reacted positively to the ban on disposable cups and our customer base has grown by offering packaging-free shopping. We are working to be a zero waste business and always request plastic free packaging when we order from suppliers."
Read a lot more about plastic waste and the problems at -
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Funding for food and activities during the summer break. More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday.
At a meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 27 June 2019, Councillors decided to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School, dividing its catchment area between Tongue Primary, Farr Primary and Lairg Primary schools. A copy of the consultation report, together with the original proposal paper and all relevant appendices can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolconsultations The Council is satisfied that implementation of closure is the most appropriate response to the reasons for formulating the original proposal identified by the authority.
"Highland Council as agreed to allow a question time for members of the public at future Council meetings. The motion was presented by Depute Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie and means that from December 2019, Highland Council meetings will include a time allocation for questions from members of the public.
Highland Councillors have unanimously agreed that the Council will support the continuation of the exemption from UK Air Passenger Duty for flights departing from airports in the Highlands & Islands; and Members also agreed that the Council will continue working with HiTRANS to present the case of the need for, and benefit arising from an exemption from the current UK Air Passenger Duty and any successor duty. The Council's stance comes this week as calls have been made by Aberdeen Airport for greater parity with Highlands & Islands.
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council. Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland.
The introduction of a service to support the mental health and wellbeing of Highland Council staff and councillors has been approved by the Council as part of a range of measures to improve wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme for staff and Members will be put in place to offer telephone and internet-based counselling 24 hours a day.
Councillor Mackie had a written question at today's meeting of Highland council. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee "Official Highland Council guidance indicates that, unless extended, successful Community Asset Transfer requests should be completed by the Local Authority within a nine months' timeframe.
From highland council Meting today 27 June 2019. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What are the current best estimates for present total Highland Council debt and the annual financial commitment required to service this debt?".
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