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September 2019

Deposit Return  Scheme   Parliamentary committee seeks views from the public

From the Scottish Parliament eBulletin 20 September

Making the deposit return scheme work for all.   The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee is looking for your views on the deposit return scheme. The committee wants to find out what barriers might prevent people from taking part in this scheme and whether it will lead to lasting behavioural change.

Background to the scheme, and possible issues about accessibility

Give your views    Questions on which the committee seeks views from the public, with a template form to submit online or print and mail.

Consultation closes on Tuesday 15 October.


Drastic Plastic Group Meeting  14 October

Now that the Summer months are nearly over it would be good to have a Drastic Plastic Group meeting to talk about plans for the next 12 months – so a meeting will be held on Monday 14th October, 2019, 7.30pm. Venue to be confirmed.

Prior to that we still have another event, the  Black Isle Gathering, on Saturday October 5th, 11am – 4pm, at Fortrose Academy, where we will be running one of our Drastic Plastic activities ‘Find the Plastic Alternative’.

TBI will be running an information stall alongside us and also running the Apple press.

If anyone can spare any time during the day to help with The Drastic Plastic activity – that would be great. Please let me know.

Best wishes to all

September 2019

Scottish Parliament petition to ban single-use plastics

Mark Purrett of Portree High School has sent a link to a Scottish Parliament  petition promoted by Stephen Henry, "calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ban single use plastics across Scotland."  The closing date for signing the petition on line is 30 September.


Whether a petition is debated by the parliament depends on the decision of the parliament's Public Petitions Committee, and not on the number of signatures collected.  Petitions are more likely to be referred to a subject committee of the parliament or to another public body, or the committee may decide to take no action at all.

Note on petitioning the Scottish Parliament


July 2019    Penny has emailed a

Drastic Plastic Summer Update

Waxed Food Cloth Workshop

In June the group held a Waxed Food Cloth making morning, as part of the Grow North Workshops. 10 people attended the session and following a great ‘demo’ by Julie, proceeded to make a variety of colourful bees waxed food cloths & and bags. So keen were they, that they had to be tempted to stop for their coffee break, by Lesley’s delicious muffins. The morning was very relaxed with a great atmosphere and due to the enthusiasm of the participants – we hope to run another workshop next year.
.    .    .    .
Film Night: at The Muir of Ord Hub

Once again – if anyone has an idea for a Drastic Plastic film, we can show at the hub to show/highlight the issues surrounding Drastic Plastic – please could you let me know. It could be 2 shorter films and I feel it would be quite good to have one to show the issues and one to show the ways we can all make a difference.

Moo Foods: Upcycling Family Activity Event

Moo Foods have approached us to see if we would be interested in running a joint Family activity event on Upcycling, probably in the October break. No further details at present – but again we would need volunteers to help if we were to participate.
.    .    .    .
Hope everyone has been able to enjoy some of the sunshine, when it appears!

Best wishes to all


July 2019

Rosemarkie Beach Cafe takes #goplasticfree challenge

Lynne Mackenzie, Beach Cafe Manager, has emailed

"Thanks for another great issue of the TBI newsletter. You might be interested to know, and perhaps include in the next newsletter, that Rosemarkie Beach Cafe is taking the #goplasticfree challenge. Throughout July we'll be working to permanently reduce the use of plastic in the cafe. We'll also be looking at ways to help our community and our customers reduce their use of single-use plastic by changing the products we stock and providing eco-friendly alternatives to things like bottled water and plastic bags.

"To help encourage others to do the same, please feel free to share our related Facebook posts - we’ll be posting about our challenge over the coming weeks. You can find us at https://www.facebook.com/rosemarkiebeach/  "

July 2019

Highland Wholefoods newsletter

We've received a Summer Newsletter from Highland Wholefoods  Inverness.  They are experimenting with using compostable bags, but having difficulty finding large ones (1kg) which are strong enough.


No. More. Plastic.  What You Can Do to Make a Difference  by Martin Dorey. 

Penny and Julie Gibson have drawn attention to this book, inviting Drastic Plastic supporters to read it and comment on whether TBI should buy a few copies to sell on the TBI stall at community markets.

There's not been much response so far, so here's another invitation to buy the book (it's only £6.99), read it, and let us know what you think.  It is available from the Resurgence online shop (and there is a review by Oliver Tickell on the Resurgence website), or from Waterstones.  This is what Waterstones say about it


"The campaigner behind the #2minutebeachclean initiative, Martin Dorey presents a simple how-to manual for reducing your impact on the oceans. Small, achievable ways to make a difference now.

"'I read this book yesterday and I've done three things today and that is testament to Martin's brilliant vision and ideas. Now it's your turn!' - Chris Packham

"Find out what you can do, starting today, to make a difference to the plastic crisis - and all it takes is 2 minutes of your time.  Open this book with your children, give it to your friends.  Share your #2minutesolution on twitter and instagram and inspire others.  With its smart, surprising and simple solutions, No More Plastic shows how we can all make a genuine difference.

"Martin Dorey, anti-plastics expert, has been working to save our beaches from plastic for the past 10 years.  His Beach Clean Foundation and global call to arms #2minutebeachclean has been taken up by people all over the world, and has proven that collective small actions can add up to a big difference.

"This book shows you what you can do to help. Starting today, with just 2 minutes of your time. Together we can fix this."


May 2019

Drastic Plastic at Inverness Science Fair Family Day

A team of Drastic Plastic / TBI volunteers, supported by Freya and Duncan from Highland Council's Waste Aware team, manned a stall at the culminating event of the Inverness Science Festival - the Family Day of fun and information held at Inverness Leisure Centre last Saturday 11 May.

In thanking the volunteers, not only for being there on the day but for all the work that went into preparing the displays for the stand, Penny commented

"I think it was well received. The children seemed to enjoy the activities and there was some good chat with both children and adults about plastic recycling, waste and alternatives."

Alaine Macdonald, one of the helpers and TBI's Membership Secretary, has written a personal account of the day

Drastic Plastic at the Inverness Science  Saturday 11th May 2019

"All afternoon the hall at Inverness Leisure Centre was thronged with people obviously enjoying themselves.  The various stands were well spread out with enough floor space for people to move around freely.

"The Drastic Plastic stall had a good position opposite the entrance.  As I entered the hall Lesley waved to me and I immediately recognized Julie’s clever ‘Drastic Plastic’ sign which she had conjured up with plastic bottle tops. 

"We had three tables arranged in a horse shoeshape creating three sections:  Freya and Duncan, from the Inverness Council, were answering questions on recycling and people were sorting ‘waste’ into blue and green bins.  Children seemed to enjoy ‘cleaning the beach’ on the middle table with its large tray representing the seashore.  There were toy sea creatures, beach shingle, shells, dried seaweedand lots of ‘rubbish’ for younger children to sort.  They were also encouraged to explain what damage it was doing.  The third section had the Decomposition Quiz (how long it takes for different things to decompose) which was popular with older children.  Adults also found it interesting.  Several people took copies away with them. There were also two baskets – one containing items made with plastic and the other one containing something similar which was not made of plastic.  Children were encouraged to find a corresponding item in each basket.  Next to this table was a large upright display screen on which were attached disposable items and containers.  Each disposable item had a red string leading to a more eco-friendly alternative.  A bunch of plastic bags hung there forlornly offering no alternative!

"It seems that we were well received and will be invited back next year.  Time seemed to go quickly while we were busy and I enjoyed it all immensely although it was very tiring,especially for those who had arrived early to set up the stand well before opening time."

Alaine Macdonald







April 2019

More on Refill Borders' reply to bottled water

An item in the latest newsletter from SCCAN (Scottish Communities Climate Action Network) reports the progress of a group called Refill Borders to  "make refilling your water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible, by introducing Refill Stations in every town and village".

Refill Borders officially LAUNCHED!
"Refill Borders, an initiative of several SCCAN members and other community organisations based in the Scottish Borders to reduce single use plastic in the Borders has now officially been launched. The network works with local businesses by recruiting and promoting a network of free tap water refill stations that anyone can access.

"Next up the network is working on making the Borders Book Festival from 13-16 June in Melrose plastic-bottle free.

"Follow Refill Borders on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/refillborders and get in touch to get involved."  


April 2019

Is Sainsburys the worst?

Greenpeace have accused Sainsburys of doing less than other supermarkets to try to reduce their use of plastic packaging.  We aren’t really convinced that any supermarket is doing as much as they could to reduce plastic waste, but Sainsburys has been singled out by Greenpeace for this slightly tongue-in-cheek video. Have a look and see if you think your local supermarket is any better.


March 2019

Milk dispenser up and running at Black Isle Dairy

Black Isle Dairy has recently installed a milk dispenser in its 'Honesty Shed' at Rootfield Farm, which means that their whole milk is no longer supplied in single use plastic bottles.  Customers can now choose between bringing their own bottles or buying glass bottles for £2.  The machine will dispense either 500ml or 1 litre, and without the expense of the plastic bottles the price has been reduced to 50p and £1 respectively.  Easy to follow instructions are provided, and at the moment payment is by coins only, but a contactless card facility is also due to be installed.

Black Isle Dairy's semi-skimmed milk (still in plastic bottles), their excellent and very different yogurt and wide range of ice creams are also available in the Honesty Shed, as well as sausages and pork from Black Isle Pork along the road and eggs from Ged Eggs at Meikle Geddes.

Nick Mackenzie, who runs Black Isle Dairy, said of his decision to install the dispenser

  "We decided to install the milk vending machine to allow us to cut down on single use plastic packaging and supply milk in reusable glass bottles without setting up a milk delivery service. It also allows us to provide fresh milk straight from the cows which has been pasteurised but is otherwise unaltered and have direct contact with our customers."  

Nick deserves the thanks of all who are concerned about the environmental damage caused by single-use plastics for this enterprising and welcome innovation.












March 2019                                       

Some deposit Return Scheme links from Greenpeace

[1] Greenpeace campaigners march enormous bottle to Michael Gove

[2] Goverment 'dragging it's feet' over plastic bottle scheme, say mps

[3] Deposit Return Schemes: what exactly are they? 

[4] Gove urged not to limit bottle deposit schemes to small containers


March 2019

You don't need to buy bottled water

Water bottle refill Scheme in the Borders

An item in the latest newsletter from SCCAN (Scottish Communities Climate Action Network) highlights the mission of a group called Refill Borders to  "make refilling your water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible, by introducing Refill Stations in every town and village".


March 2019

Concern over plastic pollution in rivers

Greenpeace petition Government on single-use plastic

Prompted by concern about increasing plastic pollution of our rivers, Greenpeace has undertaken a UK-wide survey to establish its extent, and is promoting an online petition      " . . to get the UK government to back an Environment Bill that slashes throwaway plastic and has a strong independent watchdog to enforce new, ambitious targets."

Sign the petition


February 2019    

Highland Wholefoods move away from plastic

From Highland Wholefoods spring newsletter


"Plastics have been in the news a lot recently, several months ago we took the decision to stop supplying water in single use bottles, we are also sourcing soft drinks in general in glass bottles rather than plastic.

"We have begun trialling compostable bags for our own label pre packs and 1kg packs, we hope to be using these bags shortly with a general changeover taking place over the coming  months. These compostable bags will degrade in your compost heap, not in sunlight and are made from cellulose, they degrade through the process of anaerobic digestion.

"Please note that the 3kg bags will still be made from  plastic until a supplier of the compostable alternative can be found for these larger bags".


January 2019

Success for MSP's Final Straw campaign

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has been leading a campaign to eliminate the use of plastic straws.  She said she started the campaign "to raise awareness of the blight of plastic waste on our coastlines, caused in part by our wasteful approach to food and drink packaging", and that while proud of the success achieved in the first year of the campaign, she was aware that much still remained to be done.


Read the Press and Journal report

by Alistair Munro  3 January 2019







Welcome and overview  -  September 2018

Welcome to the Drastic Plastic Webpage and to the newly formed TBI Plastic Waste Group. We consist of members who have got together and agreed that in the wake of the current horrors associated with Plastic Waste, we need to raise awareness of the issues and take action here on the Black Isle. 

A successful inaugural ‘Open’ Meeting was held in June and those who attended had the opportunity to discuss some of the issues, voice their concerns and suggest how they thought we could tackle the subject. Issues discussed were:

  • What’s Drastic About Plastic
  • How is it affecting the environment and all of us
  • Ways we can make a difference on a personal level and collectively as TBI

From those discussions, four main strands for action emerged:

  • Publicity: to raise awareness
  • Education: so that people can make informed choices
  • Campaigning 
  • Website Information

These will be developed in future meetings and activities.

Penny Hepburn        info@aquavisiononline.com


Aims and Objectives

Transition Black Isle           The Drastic Plastic Group


The Drastic Plastic Group has been established to raise awareness of the issues surrounding plastic waste within the Black Isle. This will then enable members & businesses within the community to make their own informed choices as to the way they purchase, use, recycle or dispose of their plastic waste.


  1. To highlight the indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste either by the general public or by businesses.
  2. To educate the community in the dangers of plastic waste to both human and animal health and to equip the community with knowledge of suitable and sustainable alternatives.
  3. To encourage local manufacturing businesses and outlets to end the production and use of single use plastic in their packaging and to provide better labelling on non single use packaging regarding the items' correct form of disposal.
  4. To provide accurate, up to date, relevant information on all forms of plastic and their available alternatives.


  1. Holding publicity events such as a beach clean and plastic waste sculpture competition.
  2. The delivery of informative and educational talks from public sector recycling organisations and other appropriate professionals. Holding workshops on ‘up cycling’ and making non plastic alternatives to packaging. The provision of information leaflets to be given out at events such as the Black Isle Community Markets.
  3. Letter writing and campaigning to relevant businesses requesting their co-operation and support in the reduction or phasing out of single use plastic packaging and for the provision of accurate plastic recycling labelling information. 
  4. The creation of a Drastic Plastic section on the Transition Black Isle website, with appropriate links to the wider Web. Relevant access to & interaction with appropriate social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The formation of an online Directory of local outlets, who are providing suitable alternatives to plastic packaging.

 Penny Hepburn: September 2018



Minutes of last meeting

Held on 6 December, 2018  at the Allengrange Arms, Munlochy.

(If you find these difficult to read, please email Peter Moffatt at  mail@pmoffatt.net )

TBI Drastic Plastic Group meeting report

Drastic Plastic Group Meeting held on 19th September, 2018

8 folk braved the high winds of Storm Ali to attend the meeting

Ideas put forward by the group included:

  • Having a stand at one of the Inverness environmental events or TBI Markets to provide information on plastics, recycling and alternatives, together with running related children’s activities.
  • Producing and selling our own TBI bamboo, reusable coffee ‘on the go’ mugs and bio degradable ‘dog pooh’ bags.
  • Holding a ‘Plastics Awareness’ film night.
  • Running  a TBI workshop on ‘How to make reusable waxed food storage bags’.
  • Taking part in national ‘online’ plastic protest petitions and joining in with national ‘Plastic Awareness’ events.
  • Group letter writing to local businesses to provide positive suggestions and information of alternatives to ‘single use’ plastics, particularly regarding food packaging.
  • Setting up a Drop Box for group members to collect and share information.
  • Using the newly created Drastic Plastic webpage to provide articles of interest, information and appropriate ‘links’.

Minutes of the meeting on 19 September 2018.

Enquiries to Penny Hepburn at  info@aquavisiononline.com


Campaigning links

Beat plastic pollution

From Changeworks Summer 2018 Too Good To Waste e-bulletin

World Environment Day 2018 saw the launch of the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign which encouraged people across the globe to ditch single use plastics in favour of reusable alternatives. Check out these simple alternatives you can use to make a huge difference and join the reuse revolution!Nae straw at aw

  • A refillable bottle
  • A reusable coffee cup
  • Reusable cutlery (or a spork)
  • A reusable straw (or just say no straw at all!)

Be sure to carry your reusables with you when you are out and about and pack a spare cloth bag too! For more ideas on how to reduce plastic use read this handy cheat sheet.

Bristol Greenpeace Shoppers' Revolt - 17 September 2018

Bristol Greenpeace volunteers and supporters were offering shoppers the chance to show their opposition to the excess plastic packaging that comes with the weekly shop, especially when buying fruit and vegetables.  Our campaigning outside two major supermarkets on Saturday 15th September was part of a national Greenpeace campaign called #ShoppersRevolt and it also coincided with an international day of action called #Plastic Attack which was coordinated in Bristol by One By One Conservation.  Greenpeace groups targeted some 64 shops up and down the country, but many more were visited by Plastic Attack teams.

15 September - Greenpeace 'Shoppers' Revolt' day of action against plastic packaging.  Your chance to take action

Greenpeace emailed . .

"Loads of people like you have shared your photos of excessive plastic packaging and said that you’re fed up with the pointless plastic that comes with your weekly shop. Sometimes it’s possible to avoid plastic packaging, but a lot of the time supermarkets don’t give us a choice.

"It’s time supermarkets were faced with the responsibility of dealing with the pointless plastic they’re producing - instead of leaving customers frustrated with packaging they don’t want or need.

"Lots of people who work in supermarkets have been in touch to tell us that they’re frustrated by the amount of packaging their employers produce. The people who are making the decisions about packaging aren’t the people working in our local supermarkets - it’s the big bosses who have the power to make change happen.

"So we need to get the message through to them. That’s why we’re calling on shoppers around the country to take peaceful action in local stores and online. Click the link below for more info on how you can take part."

Shoppers' Revolt

The nearest local action to the Black Isle is planned for the Co-op store in Telford Street, Inverness, from 2.00 - 4.00

Inverness link


July 2018 - One person's plastic-free challenge

In their August Newsletter, Changeworks / Home Energy Scotland reported on the challenge undertaken by Mhairi Scott, one of their Waste Wise Volunteers - to go plastic free for the whole of July. 

Read Mhairi's blog



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