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Innovative Project to Solve Plastic Pollution In North Ronaldsay

The community of North Ronaldsay have come up with an innovative approach to the plastic in the island.

They have taken their regular litter picking to a new level and have formed a social enterprise (Transition North Ronaldsay) aimed at recycling the plastic that builds up either in their own homes or is washed ashore on their beaches where it is not only unsightly but a threat to wildlife and the unique seaweed eating sheep.

Image credit: Bell

Precious Plastic North Ronaldsay has launched a crowdfund and is trying to raise £9,000. Its aim is to :

build a plastic recycling centre, transform our beach plastic waste into new products and turn the problem into a solution.

The islanders have been going out in all weathers every Sunday keeping their beaches plastic free. They have a huge problem in that Orkney Islands Council does not support communal plastic recycling skips on North Ronaldsay.

The waste would be shipped to Shetland where it is incinerated. That’s a lot of transport on ferries that are themselves big polluters.

The islanders want to have their own plastic recycling centre on North Ronaldsay where they can process all that beach and household plastic into useful objects. And of course this in turn provides employment.

If you would like to contribute to the crowdfund please follow this link: Beach Plastic Recycling Centre

The project needs to raise £4000 through this crowdfunder and if they reach that target the Calor Rural Community Fund could support them with an additional £5000. This would bring them to the total they are aiming for – £9,000. Every donation gives them 10points from the Calor Rural Community Fund, helping them towards their goal.

And here’s a great wee video explaining it all

gannet with plastic netting , photo B Bell

9 replies »

  1. Thumbs up to the people of North Ronaldsay.

    Thumbs down to OIC for not supporting them.

    • Hi Bernie, agreed it is a shame OIC can’t support plastic recycling on the outer isles! I should say that I’ve been chatting with the Waste and Recycling officer who is keen to help in other ways and include us in recycling coversations in the future, hopefully a step in the right direction, all the best, Olly

  2. A brilliant idea! Perhaps Stronsay could follow suit? It is heartbreaking how much plastic waste accumulates just from ordinary food shopping… not least because our shops depend on their suppliers which appear to send out only small packages of staple foods which adds to the amount of plastics. It would be so good if – ideally all types of plastic – the stuff could be recycled and reused locally.

    • Everyone likes to blame the plastic industry for the problem yet they only cater to supply and demand. The biggest problem with plastic are the humans that use them and the humans who recycle plastic in the wrong manner allowing it to blow out of the recycling centre or the humans who are just too lazy to put it in a bin.

  3. Great idea 💡, once this initiative gets established it would be a great side trip, similar to the trip to the wool mill during the sheep festival. Also, it would be fantastic if the product was uniquely produced on and representative of North Ronaldsay (Beach toys, building slabs, the sky is the limit).

    • Hi James, thanks for your feedback and great ideas, hope you can visit when it’s established, all the best, Olly

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