Compulsory charging for plastic carrier bags is to be introduced in Scotland next month. It is already in force in Wales, where it has raised more than £2.3m to support wildlife charity RSPB’s conservation work since 2011.
More than 27,000 Tesco customers took part in the vote to choose the beneficiaries of the levy, which is expected to be worth about £1m in Scotland and about £800,000 in Wales. Both charities, which were chosen from a list of 120 organisations, are planning to use the money to fund a variety of projects to keep local communities clean, green and tidy. The partnerships will run from 20 October 2014 for at least a year.
Greg Sage, community director for Tesco, said: “Our customers are the ones who will pay the charge, so we really wanted them to choose the charities that will benefit from it. The response was had was absolutely incredible – 27,000 people voted which is a fantastic turnout.
“Since 2011, the carrier bag levy in Wales has raised over £2.3 million for the local RSPB, which has been used for vital conservation work. Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy now have a fantastic opportunity to use the money raised from the bag charge to make a real difference to the communities they serve.”
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), said: “This is fantastic news for KSB and a tremendous opportunity for Scotland, a country whose people, organisations and institutions have really wrapped their arms around KSB and shown that they care about their environment by voting for Scotland’s own environmental charity.
“We would like to thank everyone who voted for us. We cannot wait to get started. Lots of local community groups and organisations that work in partnership with us, from all across Scotland, will benefit from this funding.”
Nominations also opened this week for the 2014 Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards Scheme, worth £200,000. The scheme will make one-off donations of between £500 and £2,500 to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations for working on local projects that support health, opportunities for young people and environmental sustainability.