January 2010 - Candlelit Vigil for Climate Change
candlelit vigil was held in Selkirk on the 12th December
to enable local people to signal their desire for real action from goverments
on climate change at Copenhagen. 28 people took part in the vigil which
was one of over 3000 similar events that took place all over the world on
the same day. These vigils were co-ordinated by the global organisation
Avaaz and gave millions of people the chance to stand up
for action on climate change and demand a fair, ambitious and binding treaty.
If you would like more information about Avaaz or to join their worldwide
campaigns go to www.avaaz.org
Candlelit vigil in Selkirk for Climate Change
September 2009 - Avaaz Global Climate Wake-Up Call gathering
gathering in Selkirk
September 2009 - Avaaz Global Climate Wake-Up Call gathering
Members of Avaaz.org,
the international civic organization that promotes activism on issues
such as climate change, human rights, and religious conflicts, have commited
to holding over 1000 events across 88 countries on Monday
21 September 2009. See this
map for more details, and note that we are having one of these
events in Selkirk!
Please come along and support the call for a fair, ambitious and binding
Global Climate Change Treaty. It will only take 5 minutes of your time
and may make a huge difference. Please come!
Selkirk Market Place, under the clock, at 12.00 Noon.
Monday 21st September.
See you there! And please bring and tell your friends
March 2009 - SPBF Supports Scottish Government Initiative
Selkirk Plastic Bag Free campaign supports the Scottish
Government's initiative to help reduce the use of plastic carrier
bags. With Scotland using one billion bags a year and our local authorities
spending £385 million a year dealing with waste this new campaign
to encourage us all to reduce our carrier bag use by 50% is a welcome step
in the right direction. (read more)
October 2008 - Award for Innovation in Environmental Improvement
Bag Free Selkirk has won the prestigious award for Innovation in
Environmental Improvement At the Scottish Borders Awards
Award, which was presented to Jenna Agate at the Awards Ceremony in Kelso
on Friday 3 October, is a celebration of the commitment and effort that
the whole of the Selkirk Community have put into the Plastic Bag Free campaign.
21 September 2008 - Scottish Borders Awards 2008
the forthcoming Scottish
Borders Awards 2008, Selkirk Plastic Bag Free has been shorlisted
as one of three finalists for an Award for Innovation in Environmental
Improvement, sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry
The winner will be announced on 3 October this year.
2 August 2008 - Get your own Selkirk Plastic Bag Free bag here
have a limited supply of the Selkirk Bag available
to buy. The original 1000 bags were sponsored and given out for free.
These extra bags will help to raise some funds for the campaign. They
are exactly the same as the original bag - recycled, fair trade, fair
price, cotton from India and printed with vegetable dye inks. They are
very strong, durable and capacious. The cost per bag is £7.50
You can purchase one of these bags at Hinnigans Gift Shop and The Forest
Bookstore, both in the Market Place, Selkirk. Alternatively you can contact
us to arrange a collection. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone 01750 21997
11 June 2008 - Selkirk's Twin Town in Germany Covers Our Campaign
press in the German town of Plattling, which is twinned with Selkirk,
has recently covered our campaign to be Plastic Bag Free.
here to see the article.
April 2008 - Press Coverage Continues
our launch last week, the word is spreading. BBC
News gives us another mention, as does The
Glasgow Herald and the weblog Badlani.
Tell your friends! Ban the bag!
4th April 2008 - Launch Day!
this day, Selkirk becomes Scotland's first town to be plastic
bag free! Of the town's 108 shops, over 96%
of Selkirk’s traders are committed to a Plastic Bag Free
here for more details on the launch.
15 March 2008 - Futher Press Coverage
to more appearances in local and national press are below:
News (10/03/08); Selkirk
Weekend Advertiser; Selkirk
Telegraph (12/03/08); Scotland
Food & Drink;
of Alastair Watson
9 March 2008 - Scottish Environment Minister comes to Selkirk
The Environment Minister, Michael Russell, came
to Selkirk this week to meet representatives of our campaign. He was
very supportive, commenting, "I am very pleased to see this campaign
in Selkirk to replace plastic bags with alternatives. Local retailers
are setting a good example by agreeing not to issue new plastic bags...There
is still a long way to go for retailers to deliver the UK target of reducing
the overall impact of carrier bags by 25 percent by the end of 2008 and
I welcome any action by retailers to reduce waste from plastic bags"
Further information is available at the Scottish
Government News site.
9 March 2008 - Press Coverage
Selkirk's Plastic Bag Free Campaign continues to attract attention
from the local and national press. Links to recent appearances (where
available) are below:
News (21/02/08); ITV
Local News (video); BBC Radio Scotland; The
Glasgow Herald; Southern
Weekend Advertiser; Border
Telegraph (20/02/08); Radio Borders
20 February 2008 - Campaign Update
campaign to make Selkirk Plastic Bag Free moves on apace. We are optimistic
that we shall meet our deadline of no more plastic bags in the town by
March 31st 2008. A lot of the traders are considering
changing to paper and others will use compostable cornstarch bags instead
We are currently working on a Gentleman's Agreement that we shall ask
all traders to sign whereby they will agree to not issue, give out or
sell any plastic bags to any customer after this date.
We have received a grant from the Community Grants Scheme of £1015
for our fair trade, recycled, reusable cotton bag. This sum has been match-funded
by R.P.Adam. With the SBC Waste Aware grant of £500 and Lochcarron's
support of £100 we now have enough funds to purchase 1000 bags for
Selkirk. These bags will be given out free to shoppers and locals on our
launch day Friday 4th April at midday in the Market Place.
We are immensely grateful to these companies and organisations for their
Schools Poster Competition
Our local primary schools were invited to design posters to advertise
Selkirk going Plastic Bag Free. These posters have now been received and
the judging will take place tomorow. One poster will be chosen and the
design used on the reusable cotton bag. We also have plans (more funds
needed for this!) to print up 500 of these posters to be used around the
town to let locals and visitors know that we are a Plastic Bag Free town.
The schools competition has been sponsored by Selkirk Merchant Company
and The Studio On The Green and a prize of £100 will go to the winning
school for an ecological project of their own choosing.
Excess Plastic Bags
One problem that we are facing is that we have two traders in town who
have purchased large quantities of plastic bags with names printed on
them. We cannot expect small businesses to take such a large financial
loss and are still seeking a solution to this problem. Any good ideas
will be gratefully received! One suggestion is to ask them to make a 'statement
of intent' whereby they display on their windows their support for the
campaign and a pledge to use their current stock by a certain date. I
would be interested to hear what you all think about this idea?
Reusing old bags
We have four traders in the town who re-use old plastic bags rather than
buying new ones. To solve the problem of there being a gap after 31st
March before the cornstarch bags start to be reused we have come up with
the idea of collecting sturdy paper carrier bags that can be used by these
shops instead of plastic ones. Please save your old paper carriers and
drop them in to Bow Wows, Barnardos, Scott Hislops and Station Road Post
office. They will be most happy to receive them!
The Co-op Store
We are delighted to have received a pledge from the Co-op in Selkirk that
they will have cornstarch bags in their store by 31st March and will be
charging 5p per bag for them. (We are asking all shops to make a blanket
charge of 5p per bag for cornstarch bags as they cost more than plastic
and we hope that by charging for bags we will encourage shoppers to bring
their own bags instead.) The co-op also have a fair trade cotton bag and
there is a possibility that they may be able to give these out free to
shoppers on our launch day too. Well done the Co-op! We are still waiting
for a decision from Somerfield about bags but sense, with the Co-op pledge,
that they are not wanting to be left out!
These bags are fully compostable and have a shelf life of 18 months before
they start to break down. They are a great alternative to plastic bags.
However we do not want to just replace all plastic with cornstarch otherwise
the world will face corn shortages and feeding people is much more important
than carrying home our shopping! Reusing cotton, hessian, jute, paper,
etc is much more environmentally friendly and we hope to get this message
across. For those shops that need cornstarch we are looking into the possibility
of a local business buying in a quantity of them so that a) they will
be cheaper and b) they will be available to buy in Selkirk. Watch this
Peebles and Innerleithen are also working to become plastic bag free along
with Broughton and West Linton. Well done to them. And I understand that
Melrose is working on it too. Wouldn't it be great if the whole of the
Borders became plastic bag free. Then maybe the whole of Scotland. It
has to happen. The time is ripe.