nike air Scots DJ Heather Suttie leads

Scots DJ Heather Suttie leads anti

WHEN XFM DJ Heather Suttie first noticed the number of discarded carrier bags scattered around her neighbourhood, she decided to do something about it.

The 34 year old from Glasgow has always been keen on looking after the environment, but felt the need to do more to stop the streets becoming cluttered with plastic.

“Slowly but surely people started getting into it. Around 1600 people have signed the petition nike air and I have got a group on Facebook where I post photos and updates.

“I’ve also produced a range of alternative bags using jute, which is entirely biodegradable and 100 per cent natural.

“I got quite a lot of press nike air through it and people started getting in touch to ask me what they could do about it in their local area, which was very encouraging.”

Heather’s efforts led to her appearing on the Today Programme debating the topic with Marks and Spencer chief executive Sir Stuart Rose.

And as well as highlighting the issue in the media, she’s also been working hard to persuade companies to adopt more eco friendly alternatives to disposable bags. She said: “I go to companies and suggest things, and I often get nike air told that carrier bags are everywhere because they are cheap.

“They can be reluctant to spend the extra cash, but you can already see it’s changing, and I can imagine a time when retailers will all be using biodegradable bags.

“For example Tesco have just produced a range of limited edition bags with the designer Cath Kidston, which are as much of a fashion accessory as anything else.

“I’ve also had a lot of interesting comments from people saying the campaign has changed their approach to shopping or their kids have asked them why they are using plastic bags.

“And what I’ve tried to do is to suggest to people that there are alternatives. If you’re spending your money, spend it wisely and use a jute bag or a cotton bag rather than having to pay for a disposable carrier bag.

“Once you get into the swing of it, it’s a really easy thing to do, and I think in a few years’ time, people won’t want to be seen with a plastic carrier bag.”

Re using carrier bags is only one of the ways in which you can reduce the amount of household waste you produce.

From recycling furniture to cutting down on food waste, there are a lot of other steps which individuals can take, and there are organisations across Scotland able to offer help and advice.

The Community Recycling Network for Scotland is a membership body for local recycling organisations.

James Dunbar, of recycling organisation New Start Highland, is a director of the network, and believes all of us have a role to play in reducing waste.

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He said: “One of the reasons why such community recycling organisations are so effective is because they see things not as waste, but as a valuable resource which can be used to benefit the community. For example at New Start Highland we re use furniture, and this year we will recycle around 750 tons of household items.

“That furniture goes to people on low incomes or who have been homeless but have moved into a new tenancy.

“People see that and, instead of their items being wasted, it can be used for the greater good of the community.

“That means when they dispose of it by giving it to us, they take much greater care of it than they might do otherwise.

nike air Scots count cost of plastic ba

Scots count cost of plastic bags

The chain believes Scots are hoarding more than 70 million bags in their homes, many of them destined eventually to end in landfill sites, where they can take up to 500 years to decompose.

Plastic litter of all descriptions is blamed for suffocating and strangling a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals annually nike air worldwide.

Stuart Boags, B director of operations in Scotland, said: “The evidence of the negative impact of plastic carrier bags on wildlife and the environment is clear.

“Through this pilot we hope to show that we and our customers can bene nike air fit the environment through reducing the use of these bags”.

John Summers of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “Vets treat thousands of cases of animals hurt by rubbish each year and amongst those are cases where horses, cows and even domestic pets have choked on plastic.

“We have also heard of incidents where bags have blown on to windscreens causing car accidents.”

Stuart Boags told the BBC: “The big reason why we’re doing this is because we want to change the behaviour of Scots.

“If the charge works here we hope to extend it to the rest of the UK. If there are det nike air rimental effects to our business, then we’ll look at it again.

“We recognise that you don’t always need plastic bags for DIY products, unlike food, but nike air we do hope other retailers will follow our lead.”

A levy on plastic bags was introduced in Ireland in March 2002, and several other countries are trying the same approach.

One recycling expert said there was some evidence the use of paper bags in Ireland had increased dramatically in the wake of the levy, and called for more evidence that people’s behaviour really did change.

The number of plastic bags given out by the nine main supermarket chains in the UK is estimated at 17.5 billion annually enough to cover the whole of England within 21 years.