Archive for Waste

Harper Urges Supermarkets to Take Responsibility for Packaging Waste


Robin Harper MSP said ’30-40% of all household waste which ends up in landfills comes from the top five supermarket chains. Supermarkets are taking no responsibility for the waste they produce. As citizens we pay for it three times over; as consumers buying unnecessary packaging, as Council tax payers paying for recycling collection, and where there are no recycling facilities we pay for it to be wasted. Consumers are trapped in a lose, lose, lose scenario which must be changed.’

Robin Harper MSP said

“Supermarkets must take responsibility for the waste they produce, through re-design they can reduce the need for bulky packaging and must use recycled materials rather than virgin resources. As consumers we need to recognise the potential waste in what we buy and shop for local, seasonal and unpackaged food where possible.”


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Cramond Beach Clean-up: Greens Highlight Need For A Marine Bill

Robin Harper MSP will today visit Cramond Beach in Edinburgh to support the Adopt a Beach clean-up organised by the Marine Conservation Society.

Robin Harper MSP this week lodged a Parliamentary motion urging MSPs not to ignore the plight of Scotland’s seas by urging the Scottish Government to develop a Scottish Marine Bill as a matter of urgency.

Robin Harper said

“Beach clean-ups always attract a good turnout proving that people value and appreciate their local marine environment and wildlife. It’s a fun and worthwhile event that encourages everyone to do their bit to look after their environment.”

“The Scottish Government has made no commitment to introduce a Scottish Marine Bill in the next 12 months. A Bill needs to be developed as a matter of urgency to ensure that our marine environment is protected for future generations.”

Adopt-a-Beach and Beachwatch are coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment.

Robin Harper said

“There is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each a square mile of ocean, 100,000 marine mammals die each year because of plastic. A huge proportion of this is thrown of ships or blown off the land and beaches, as if the threat of climate change is not enough our thoughtless dropping of litter not just on beaches but on the streets of our cities is seriously damaging our marine environment with a threat which does not bio-degrade or sink or go away. If we don’t change our ways in 40 years time there could be as much as 100,000 bits of plastic per square mile of ocean. This is why it is so important to keep drawing attention to the problem and I commend the MSC and Beachwatch for the work they do every year.”

Greens have been at the forefront of campaigning to block the ship-to-ship oil transfer threat in the Firth of Forth and successfully persuaded the SNP government to improve the law governing the assessment of major projects that threaten
valuable marine areas.

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Incineration Plans Will Test SNP Commitment To Green Policy Of Zero Waste

Reacting today to reports that councils are set to proceed with plans for up to 17 new waste incinerators across Scotland in order to avoid falling foul of a European directive to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, Greens said that the new SNP government will face a test of their commitment to greening government as it will make the final decision whether to approve the proposals.

The previous Lib. Dem./Labour Executive favoured incineration with Lib. Dem. Environment Minister committing £20m towards waste plans that included incinerators just before the election in May. Greens have been alerting the Scottish people to these plans for months.

Greens say that moves towards more incineration will undermine efforts to reduce waste volumes and to increase recycling rates. The SNP has committed itself to supporting the Green Party policy of a ‘zero waste strategy’ which would also be undermined by a new wave of incinerators

Robin Harper MSP said:

“Using the sky as a landfill site is not the answer to our waste problem. The problem is the amount of waste we produce in the first place and we need to reduce that, and make products with ‘zero waste’ in mind. That is the way forward. Incinerators, especially if operated as private businesses, will be hungry for as much rubbish to burn as possible to make them profitable. That sends entirely the wrong signal. The SNP Environment Minister has signalled an interest in our policy of a ‘zero waste strategy’ for Scotland. He now has the opportunity to show he is committed to it by refusing to fund waste plans with major incinerators included.”

Zero Waste is an approach used in many other countries which have achieved major reductions in waste volumes and increases in recycling rates way above Scotland’s very low level of 25%.

Harper added:

“One ton of mixed household ‘rubbish’ has the potential to provide £700 worth of recycled/manufactured product. Landfill is a cost, incineration through ‘waste to energy’ will just about cover the cost of transport, and under the highly centralised pattern proposed, will waste up to 50% of the heat energy produced. At the same time this will tie in our waste resource use programme into supplying the very costly installations with fuel for the next 25 years, diverting valuable potential resources away from recycling opportunities that await them. This will set back the development of a zero waste policy by a quarter of a century.”

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Mr Harper today visited the GREAN project in Golspie to attend the AGM and celebrate the latest expansion of their services. GREAN (Golspie Recycling and Environmental Action Network) provides a kerbside recycling service for 625 households in Golspie – but that service will now extend to a total of 3000 households in South, East and Central Sutherland. Read the rest of this entry »

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