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 -
At his last official function The Highland Council's retiring CEX Steve Barron has paid tribute to two members of staff for their outstanding work. During The Highland Council's Quality Awards event, held last Thursday in Inverness Town House, he took the opportunity to present a special commendation award to the Council's Project Co-ordinator for War Memorials Alf Leslie.
UNISON will start to take steps towards strike action. The local government joint trade unions - who have also run consultative ballots of their members - will be meet with CoSLA to inform them of the results of their ballots, tomorrow Friday 9th November.
A Cook at Broadford Primary School on the Isle of Skye has scooped the Highland Council's Employee of the Year 2018 Award for her commitment to promote healthy eating and for inspiring pupils to get involved from "plot to plate" Annette Burfooot, who has been at the school for 11 years, is described as a skilled and dedicated member of staff who is passionate about promoting healthy eating and regularly goes into classrooms to chat to the children about nutrition and developing healthy eating habits. She also encourages them to proactively get involved in the planning of menus for school meals making the most of fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the school garden.
The Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Thursday 8 November 2018) have approved the Council's Strategic Housing Investment Plan for 2019-2024 that will see a minimum of 500 units being built each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
The Highland Council has announced the publication of updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services. The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the Council's Development Plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.
Thousands of illicit cigarettes have been uncovered by Highland Council's Trading Standards Officers with a little help from two specially-trained, four-legged detectives. Spaniels Dixie and Daisy from Consumer Protection Dogs were enlisted by the region's Trading Standards team to detect the smell of tobacco.
Nine candidates are standing for election to fill a vacancy for the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward of The Highland Council. The by-election is being held following the resignation of Kate Stephen who was one of four Councillors representing Ward 5.
WICK and Thurso now have access to free WiFi in and around the centre of their towns thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme started on 14 October 2018. Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.
The Highland Council are running a free return to teaching course for any fully or provisionally registered teacher based anywhere in the Highland Council area who is considering a return to teaching. If you have had a break from teaching, are a retired teacher or are new to the area and are keen to apply for a teaching post or join the supply register that allows you to set your availability around your lifestyle and family commitments, come along refresh your skills and gain confidence, meet a Head Teacher, Care and Learning Staff as well as new colleagues who are also returning to teaching in Highland.
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