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November 2022

Changeworks 'Too Good to Waste'  bulletin

This e-bulletin is brought to you as part of our work to reduce waste via our Too Good To Waste guide. In this edition you’ll hear about how to get involved with waste reduction, seasonal tips for Halloween and autumn, and what's going on in the world of waste.

Read the bulletin


September 2022

Scotland's bottle return scheme delayed

Skye Climate Action's latest newsletter draws attention to the delay in the introduction of Scotland's bottle return scheme, originally planned for August this year but put back some months ago to August 2023.

The government's press release of December 2021 fails to mention the postponement or the original date, and still tries to represent the scheme as a ground-breaking initiative.  It blames the Covid crisis and Brexit for the delay, while understandably furious environmental groups point to intense lobbying by drinks manufacturers and big retailers.

Lack of enthusiasm for the scheme from those who would be expected to help operate it may be a contributory cause of the delay.  As at July this year no applications had been received to set up any of the 500 collection points that Zero Waste Scotland had estimated would be required.

John Mayhew, the director of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, said

"This is a sad day for Scotland’s environment.  The Scottish government’s flagship waste reduction programme lies essentially scuttled beneath the waves, sunk by a combination of intense industry lobbying and a lack of political will.”

Media comment

The Guardian  Severin Carrell Scotland editor  14 December 2021

The Herald     Andrew Learmonth  25 July 2022

STV News      James Delaney    16 August 2022


January 2022

France bans plastic packaging for fresh vegetables

A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables came into force in France on New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urge other countries to do the same.

Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.

The Guardian     Angelique Chrisafis      31 December 2021

Read the full article


December 2021

Recycling agricultural plastic - John Muir Trust

Skye Climate Action has drawn attention to an initiative by the John Muir Trust looking into the recycling of agricultural plastic and the possibility of setting up a facility for this on Skye

Next Steps for Agricultural Plastics Recycling - a business opportunity on Skye by Cathryn Baillie, John Muir Trust.

The John Muir Trust began a pilot scheme to collect waste agricultural plastic from crofting tenants on Skye, the aim being to divert the waste from landfill into the recycling stream, where it could be reprocessed into useful items.  Collections began in winter 2020/2021 and were limited to a small number of local crofters, including only four who regularly use silage.  To date we have gathered between 1-2 tonnes of waste silage wrap and feedbags.  There has been significant interest in the scheme from other crofters on the island and surrounding area, so if the project was scaled up, I anticipate that the volume of plastic waste collected could be substantial. 

We are now at the stage of carbon auditing the various transport and recycling options for the plastic, but unfortunately there are no ideal scenarios at present.  We would love to see the waste being reprocessed nearby and the resulting products sold locally. Planet Sutherland are in the process of setting up a reprocessing plant for waste plastics and they hope to be operational by early 2022.  They would be keen to support a similar enterprise here, perhaps carrying out different but complementary services.

What we are hoping now is that someone in the Skye and Lochalsh area will see this as an opportunity to create a business.  We have some insight into what would be required, and we would like to assist anyone with an interest in taking the project on.  There is significant funding available at the moment for improving recycling infrastructure from Zero Waste Scotland.  And our funders from the William Grant Foundation may also consider offering support to see the project continue and grow.  If you would like to discuss the opportunity further, please get in touch.

Planet Sutherland project summary 2020


July 2021

ILM Highland - Local specialist recycling facility

From the Planet Sutherland July 2021 newsletter

This month we're focussing on our good friends at ILM Highland. Here's their story.

ILM Highland is a local independent charity and social enterprise, providing home improvement, electrical recycling and retail services to the Highlands of Scotland.  Our mission is to

  • Reduce waste
  • Protect the environment
  • Support vulnerable people to be at home

Our home improvement services provide free support and assistance to the most vulnerable in our community, enabling them to maintain their independence.  This includes our Care & Repair and Handy-person services available across Ross-shire and Sutherland.  To support these services, we offer an extensive electrical recycling service – to the public and to businesses – as well as running an electrical retail shop online and from our base in Alness selling quality and affordable refurbished and new appliances. We also offer spare parts and repair services for a large number of electrical appliances through our Spares & Repairs service.

ILM has also recently installed electrical recycling containers for small electrical items across Easter Ross and Sutherland, while larger items can be dropped off at our base in Alness or at any of the Highland Council’s household waste recycling centres across the region.  As a social enterprise, we reinvest every penny of profit back into our local community and our ethos remains at the core of what we do – supporting vulnerable people to be at home.  For more information please visit our website at  or call us on 01349 884774. We are also on Facebook.


September 2019

Food waste reduction initiative on Arran

Among the activities of Arran Eco Savvy, an organisation with objectives similar to those of TBI on an island about the same size as the Black Isle, is a food waste reduction operation run in conjunction with the Co-op Food Share scheme set up by the retailer in 2018. Under the scheme food at its sell-by date is collected from the main island Co-op and made available free through Brodick Food Bank and four other distribution points around the island.

An atticle on the Arran Eco Savvy website says

"This is a nationwide Co-op initiative that enables local charities like ourselves to intercept surplus food before it reaches landfill.  Eco Savvy has entered into this partnership with the Co-op in collaboration with Brodick Food Bank.  This means that on every collection day, the foodbank has first refusal.  So far, there has been far more food than they are able to distribute or preserve in the small time-frame before the use-by or best-before dates hit.  .  .   To avoid food waste, we have created foodshare evenings to allow anyone on Arran to collect food that has imminent expiry dates."

Read more on the Eco Savvy website

Co-op press release on 2018 Food Share launch.


March 2019

Milk dispensers and plastic bottles

Last November we reported on a dairy farm in Aberdeenshire which had installed a milk dispenser / vending machine to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles, and expressed the hope that our local Black Isle Dairy might consider doing the same.  We are glad to report that this has now happened.

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 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.









November 2018

The Restart Project

Mike Thomas of Transition Network has drawn our attention to this organisation, which offers assistance to Transition and  other community groups in setting up their own repair and reuse activities.  Restart says

 "Get support to run a Restart Repair Event

"We’re The Restart Project.  Like you, we know the pace of our consumption has real social and environmental costs.  So, we’re building a network of people who want to do something about the throwaway culture around us by helping people repair stuff.

"We help local groups like yours run community events where people teach each other how to repair their broken stuff – to help them value and use it for longer.  And we use the data and stories we collect to help demand better, more sustainable products for all.

"There are people in your community who already know how to fix things – and others who want to learn.  By bringing them together in a local repair event, you can have an immediate impact on waste in your area, as well as reaching out to local people who might not have come across your Transition group before.

  .   .   .   .   .   .  

"The Restart Project already helps a handful of Transition groups run their own repair events and we can help you too!  Whether you’d like to organise your own Repair Café or electronics-focused Restart Party, we can help you get the ball rolling with how-to guides, event-management tools and personalised advice."

Although this is not obvious from the information in this email, a visit to the Restart website at  makes it clear that their main focus is on the rather specialised area of repairs to electronic devices and small electrical appliances.

TBI has from time to time considered running a more general repair and reuse project.  If you would be interested in helping to run such a project, or have broken stuff you would like help with repairing, please contact us at .



Latest News...

Forthcoming Events…

Saturday 4 February
13:00 Black Isle Repair Cafe North Kessock
17:30 Transition Town Forres - Imbolc fundraising event
18:30 Knocknagael Growing Group Ceilidh
Monday 6 February
19:30 RCA Fergus McCreadie Trio at Resolis
Wednesday 8 February
14:00 Black Isle Men's Shed AGM
Thursday 9 February
10:00 Allangrange gardening workshop - Fruit tree pruning
Saturday 11 February
NA      Cromarty Community Market
Saturday 18 February
10:00 Culbokie Community Market

Events to add to calendar? Contact Us.

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We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.