Oban signs up to be plastic-free

Raising awareness at Oban Charities Day were Janie Steele and Ross Preston.

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Oban has signed up to join 300 communities across the UK pledging to become plastics-free.

Janie Steele from Footprint Alba took the leap of faith as part of her role as an ambassador for Surfers Against Sewage. The network runs a plastics-free coastlines initiative encouraging communities to do their best to reduce plastic in their villages, towns and cities.

At the weekend, Ms Steele was collecting supporters’ names at a stall at the town’s Charities Day event.

The plastic-free scheme is based on the Fairtrade model and only began last August but the idea has caught on, said Ms Steele, who hopes the whole of Oban will get behind  the bid for plastics-free status.

‘We need to find out who wants to get behind the bid. It could be schools, clubs, businesses, families – anyone. There are certain things we have to achieve to get the status but Oban has already made a start so it looks good.’

Letters have been sent out to get backing from councillors, pupils at Rockfield Primary School have also made green changes and, last month, campaigners from call-to-action group Awakening In Argyll carried out peaceful plastic attacks on the town’s three supermarkets.

‘We need businesses to look at using compostible goods and we need people wanting to take community leads in the project. It’s early days still but we’re off to a flying start. The more people involved, the quicker we’ll get the status,’ added Ms Steele.

People can find out more about plastics-free Oban at a special community-run screening of A Plastic Ocean at the Phoenix Cinema on Tuesday June 19 at 7.30pm.

The screening comes the day after a national summit on marine litter is held in Oban bringing together manufacturers and retailers, marine and environmental stakeholders, and coastal communities who are most affected by marine litter. The aim is to raise awareness, increase understanding of the issue, and help identify and develop actions to tackle it.

After the film, there will be a question and answer session and two minutes of footage showing local action. Tickets for A Plastic Ocean are on sale now.

Tomorrow, Friday June 8, is World Oceans Day.