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

Overview
In 2019, we joined a town-wide campaign to tackle single-use plastics. By 2024, we aim to: (1) Cut out single-use disposable plastics; (2) Reduce the amount of litter in the town and marine litter on the beaches; and (3) Adopt a waste plan to reduce landfill and increase reuse.

To do this we see working with businesses, the general community, and infrastructure and policy changes as essential! With businesses, we look to help them remove single-use plastics and find better alternatives. And to encourage a town-wide take back scheme for packaging.

With the general community, we promote ways of living a zero waste lifestyle. We host and support town-wide clean-ups with our litter picking kit. And we also work with schools to run lesson plans because education is always key.

Finally, to make zero waste living easier, we need infrastructure and policy changes. This includes working with Fife Council, Scottish Water and the University to improve street recycling and install water fountains.

The campaign is a joint effort between the St Andrews Environmental Network, the University of St Andrews and Transition.

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).

How to 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, do get in touch via any of the contacts below.

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