Shawlands takes action on single use plastic bags

My Shawlands, inspired by the COP26, is distributing free biodegradable plastic bags to all businesses in Shawlands that have yet to move to sustainable packaging.

My Shawlands is encouraging local business owners to turn their back on plastic

The initiative is being funded and managed by My Shawlands, the group which was created in 2017 after a majority vote by business owners in the area to make Shawlands a Business Improvement District.

Shawlands is one of 200 business improvement districts in the UK, and the board is made up of representatives from businesses of Shawlands who vote on how to distribute funds collected through levys.

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This pot of money, combined with grants and funding applied for by The My Shawlands board pays for all My Shawlands’ activity including events, area improvements, marketing and environmental projects such as this biodegradable bag initiative.

The bags being provided are biodegradable at landfill within months, a vast improvement on the 20 years it takes for traditional plastic bags to decompose.

Lisa McLaughlin, My Shawlands project manager, said: “Shawlands businesses have worked for a number of years to reduce plastic useage and improve sustainability in Shawlands, and we have been there to support them.

"Initiatives such as the Southtember tote bags have helped us to achieve this, but we can’t stop there. Some businesses have yet to start their own journey to sustainable packaging and this new biodegradable bag initiative is here to help.

"We hope that by providing these bags free of charge, businesses such as convenience shops, takeaways and grocery shops will feel confident in making the permanent transition to a plastic-free alternative sooner rather than later.”

Jonny McDonald, chairman of My Shawlands board, added: “As the manager of a food business I’m all too aware of the struggles that face independent businesses in these challenging times.

"Biodegradable packaging is generally more expensive and less accessible than plastic but we have, as business leaders, an obligation to lead the way on plastic usage and the COP26 conference being hosted in our own city gives us a perfect landscape to do this.

"In Shawlands we are lucky to have such a close-knit business community that can work together on important initiatives like tacking climate change.”