Selkirk is a small market town (population 6000) in the middle of the Scottish Borders. We have approximately 102 shops and businesses here.

In November 2007 we decided that our lovely town and beautiful surrounding countryside would appreciate being liberated from all the plastic rubbish that flaps about in the trees and hedgerows, blows around in our streets and floats in our river. We started the campaign to make Selkirk Plastic Bag Free.

Plastic shopping bags do untold damage to our environment. If they are not blowing around the countryside they are clogging up landfill sites or ending up in our oceans, destroying habitats and threatening mammals and sea birds. And there are so many of them! (see Plastic Bag Facts)

We are grateful to Modbury in Devon, who have inspired us with their campaign (in May 2007), and for their excellent website which has guided and informed us hugely. Their website has masses of information and informative short films and is well worth a look -

Here in Selkirk our aim is not to replace plastic bags - it is to find sustainable and more ecologically friendly alternatives. We have raised funds to buy recycled, fairtrade shopping bags to give away free to shoppers in the hope of encouraging them to use their own bag, again and again and again... We are encouraging shops to use paper (Sustainable Forest Council accredited paper is less damaging to the environment and paper is recycled by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) - see the Modbury page on alternative bags) or as a last resort to use compostable, cornstarch bags for food, meat and fish. (SBC also collect compostable materials weekly from doorsteps or these bags can be put on the compost heap at home).

Remember... small changes by lots of people can make a big difference.

Here in Selkirk we are trying to make a difference.