Tackling single-use plastics and litter across the town and University

In 2019, we joined a town-wide campaign to tackle single-use plastics and engage the hearts and minds of the St Andrews community. This is being led by a collaborative effort between the St Andrews Environmental Network, the University of St Andrews and us. Our ambition, to inspire an awareness around the impacts of plastics and the problems of our single-use, throw-away culture. More practically, by 2024, we aim to:

  • Eliminate single-use disposable plastics.
  • Reduce the amount of litter in the town and marine litter on the beaches.
  • Adopt an overall waste minimisation plan to reduce landfill and increase reuse.

Earlier this year a strategy was written to outline the actions St Andrews will take to achieve this, which can be understood by the following three themes:

  • Business Engagement – Work closely with business across town to help them phase out single-use plastics by identifying plastic free alternatives and encouraging a town-wide take back scheme for packaging.
  • Public Engagement – Run a zero waste living campaign, coordinate beach cleans and deliver an educational programme with schools across the town.
  • Infrastructural and Policy Changes – Work closely with Fife Council, Scottish Water and the University of St Andrews to implement a effective street recycling scheme in town and install water fountains.

Read more about the Towards a Plastic Free St Andrews strategy here!

Statistics on Plastic Waste:

Every minute over 1 million single-use plastic bottles are purchased globally. Almost 80% end up in landfill and oceans (www.findtap.com).

By 2050 total ocean plastics will outweigh fish, pound for pound.

In 2016 we produced 2.01 billion tonnes of waste globally (World Bank, 2018).

Across the UK, we generate an estimated 5 million tonnes of plastic waste annually (www.plasticfree.co.uk)

In Scotland 15,000 tonnes of litter are collected annually. This is the equivalent of 200,000 washing machines (Zero Waste Scotland, 2018).

In Fife, over 50% of waste put into blue landfill bins could be composted or recycled (Fife Council, 2018).

Get Involved!

At the heart of the campaign is a strong commitment to partnership. Working together across all organisations, schools and members of the St Andrews community.

If you are interested in being a part of this amazing movement in town do get in touch via any of the following emails:

  • info@standrewsenvironmental.org
  • environment@st-andrews.ac.uk
  • transition@st-andrews.ac.uk
  • daphnegrant2014@btinternet.com

We look forward to hearing from you!