Oban turns out for plastic-free status

Oban is making plans to reduce plastic use.

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Organisers of Oban’s first plastic-free town meeting have hailed it a positive start.

More than 30 people met at the Corran Halls to find out more about what Oban needs to do to be added to the list of 22 other towns in Scotland that have already achieved plastic-free status from Surfers Against Sewage.

The idea is to unite the community  against single-use plastic of all types from bottles to packaging and takeaway wrappings, and make change.

Last week people interested in living plastic-less lives were invited along to the meeting to bring their enthusiasm, experience and ideas to continue the mission and see what they can do to encourage others.

Townspeople, businesses, local councillors and young people were at the meeting, working together in groups to identify priorities and come up with achievable short-term targets and longer-term goals.

Wildlife biologist and SAS regional representative Janie Steele said:  ‘We are pretty much on the  positive road already. It’s nothing we can’t achieve together.

‘Plastic is a fantastic commodity but we just need to be more sensible about how we use it. We need to be clever.’

Ideas from the think-tank groups included offering Oban up to the Scottish Government as a pilot town for plastic-less initiatives, lobbying authorities for change, encouraging festival and event organisers to cut down on plastic waste, celebrating businesses championing the cause, installing water fountains around the town, getting schools involved and running a compassion campaign inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet effect.

A steering group will now be set up as well as a number of ‘break-out’ groups to work on individual projects.

People will also be linked up to existing activities such as regular beach cleans and plastic attack action targeting supermarkets.

There are more than 350 plastic-free communities already signed up to the SAS project. Penzance in Cornwall was the first. The majority are coastal communities but there are some inland as well and now some international members.

To get more information about the SAS Plastic Free Coastlines initiative go to sas.org.uk.