By Carol Aitken -
This was a very positive meeting on Monday with nine SNP Councillors. Myself, Len, (Blairgowrie & Rattray CC), Liz, (Dunkeld & Birnam CC) represented the local climate cafes and we had been invited to the meeting by Councillor Fiona Sarwar. We found the atmosphere amongst them very positive and we all agreed we need to keep the dialogue ongoing and open.
Len emailed a thank you back to Fiona and we thought we should reiterate a few points that were discussed. Here is our list of points that Len emailed back to them:
The Woodland Trust is running a petition for an Emergency Tree Plan which recommends the majority of woodland creation should be delivered with native woods and trees.
Native woodland is essential for long term carbon storage and crucial for integrating our response to the nature and climate crisis.
The following is from Philip Bryers of POG -
Great news: We have been successful with our bid for funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund to organise an event entitled:
Our Land, Our Food: preparing for the future and protecting our planet
Margaret Lear, with help from other POG members, is working on details of the event, which will take place on Saturday 21 March 2020 from 10.30 – 13.30 in St Matthews Church, Tay Street, Perth. Tea and coffee will be available from 10.15
There will be two speakers - Keesje Avis (Senior Policy Officer with Nourish Scotland, a non-governmental organisation campaigning on food justice issues) and James Murdoch of Extinction Rebellion. There will be time for small group work and discussion. Participation is free, and priority will be given to POG members.
Booking is online via Eventbrite is about to open. If you have difficulty accessing the event on Eventbrite, the contact is Margaret Lear at email@example.com or on 01738 787278
In the meantime we need the help of POG members with the following tasks:
· Someone to staff the desk, book people in and hand out name labels
· People making tea and coffee at start and during break
· A note-keeper for each session, recording main points of speakers and comments during feedback sessions
· Volunteers from POG to take part in discussion at each table, keep conversation rolling, possibly do the recording. (We don't want all the POGers to be at one table!)
· Technical assistance in case of digital disasters!!
· From everyone: please bring finger foods to share (cake, biscuits. savoury stuff, samosas etc) - with an emphasis where possible on locally produced/home grown. I know this might be a tall order in March (!), but it would be good for participants to know what ingredients we've found that are our own or local - and see we try to practise what we preach!
· From everyone: contact details and ideas of local organisations we should invite, either to attend or to have an information table, or even just send information along.
Please contact Margaret with your offers of help on firstname.lastname@example.org – the sooner the better!
A Vision for Rail 2030 snapshot that Transform Scotland completed end of last year, the full report is not published yet, but will form part of a Vision 2030 series:
Greenpeace Petition: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/bp-climate-emergency-petition
This is from Donna Rigby of PKC regarding recycling bins...
Thanks for inviting me on Friday – great to see such a fantastic turn out on a wet January evening.
I have included images and some documentation of the recycling bins and signage I can offer to pilot recycling on the go at one location in Pitlochry as agreed.(some of this refer to mini-glass point but much of the information is relevant for recycling ‘on the go’ points)
Malcolm Reid is the community waste adviser for the Pitlochry area so he can work with you to agree a suitable location and will progress the internal consultation as details in the attached procedure.
I would suggest that 3- 4 bin are appropriate capacity – as you can see from the signage, we found in Alyth that even that wasn’t sufficient as householders kept using it to dispose of excess household waste more than recycling litter as was the intended use. Depending on where you think is best to site the bins will depend on how frequently we are able to service them. I think if you suggest a general location Malcolm can help narrow down where is best to site the bins in consultation with our operations team.
I have been considering the proposal you were discussing regarding getting businesses in Pitlochry to swap to compostable alternatives. I have included some article link below. While in a close loop system such as events like the street party compostables can be a greener alternative I would ask you to consider the whole life of the products from production through to disposal. My thoughts would be if the products are being consumed on site reuseables are by far the best alternative and if the products are being taken away then they will likely end up in litter bins or householders domestic bins where recycling of compostables is not an option. I was just questioning you asking the businesses to get a compostable waste collection and stock compostable cups - this comes at an expense to businesses and may not achieve what you hope.
……widespread use of biodegradable packaging.
“It treats the symptoms, not the disease,” he says. “If the disease is our throw-away society, making packaging biodegradable only encourages people to throw more away.”
To make the most impactful behavior change it would be better if customers were charged for any un-necessary packaging materials such as cups.
Sculpture at Friarton Recycling Centre
By Carol Aitken -
Meeting with PKC Climate Action Plan Meeting 9th January was very interesting, and the PKC report is worth a look at. However what action will be taken remains to be seen but they are interested in public consultation and involvement at all levels rather than from the top down. One of the key milestones this year will be a Perth Climate Change Summit in May 2020 to showcase local best practices and stimulate private-public sector collaboration.
There is also the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC is expected to take place from 9-19 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK. They will be looking at Sustainable Development and Climate change along with other issues. For more information https://sdg.iisd.org/events/2020-un-climate-change-conference-unfccc-cop-26/
Mini recycling petition has been effective with over 200 names. Karen Reid CEO (PKC) replied to the query we sent to her back in September about more recycling facilities in the area, basically saying the same as Donna Rigby and that the answer was no to more recycling bins.
However, Donna came to this meeting to discuss the petition and supply of additional bins etc. We had a lengthy conversation with her, in fact it took up all of that meeting and she has agreed to supply some recycling bins to pilot a study here to see how they are used and if they are used correctly then the waste can be diverted from landfill to recycling. We must work out where the bins will go in town. She has put me in touch with Malcolm Reid who is the community waste adviser for the Pitlochry area as he can work with us to agree a suitable location and will progress the internal consultation. It is a result. Thanks to everyone who helped asking everyone to sign the petition.
Working towards a Plastics Free Pitlochry –
David Watters and Alistair Dickson (New Year Street Party) Update on event - Kaja, Lulu (her sister), myself, Peter, Karen and Sandy were there on the day stewarding the bins.
Helping at the event was a success. Some people were amazing and spot on with using both the composting and dry recyclables bins, others needed some help to get it right but there were others who saw the bins and just threw their rubbish in irrespective of what the poster on the bin said. So that’s the challenge – what methods need to be found to help those who are still unsure but want to recycle and those who just see recycling bins as a bin. Binn Group provided the bins and we gathered in about 6 wheelie bins of food waste and compostables and 4 wheelie bins of dry recyclables. That worked out at halving the usual load of two large bin skips of waste sent to landfill. Is that not amazing?
A Plaice to Be – once they have used their polystyrene containers, they will be using compostable containers, but now you can take your own container in or ask for a compostable one.
So, if Enchanted Forest and the NYSP can be a success then what other events and businesses could be encouraged to be Plastic Free too. Jane King and Jenni Moncrieff with the Rotary Club continue to investigate how they can help local business etc create a plastic Free Pitlochry like Dunkeld and Birnam. And remember Simon from Scottish Deli is more than happy to come talk to others about the transition.
Cathy Marshall has asked the Highland Games committee if they can do this too. There is also Etape, March into Pitlochry, Football Gala, anything else?
We also spoke about getting a group together who are interested in helping with a Plastic free Pitlochry project? There is Jane, Jenni, Alison, Kaja and me, is anyone else interested in helping with this project as it’s a big one to take on with so many businesses to approach?
Reducing/Eliminating Plastics in the Co-op Update. Alison Robb contacted the Co-op about reducing the use of plastic in the supermarket. Still not very helpful replies as they are not providing any answers to our questions So we would like to encourage everyone to call the CO-OP customer Services and pester them regarding reducing the amount of plastic they use on products. Veg, Fruit etc
Tesco, Crieff Road, Perth– has a new collection Point for recycling inkjet cartridges, Water filters, Batteries and Light bulbs.
Alistair Smith (Heartland FM) did an interview with Mike Williamson early in January, about the issues with camper vans in the area over the new year and lack of facilities. Alistair has loaded it as a podcast and tagged us Climate Cafe in on the FB Post. He is still keen to get any feedback if anyone in the Climate Café group are interested and have any possible solutions to this?
He is also happy to chat to anyone in the Climate Café about their businesses, interests and views on different issues regarding Climate Change etc.
Townhall and Multi-Purpose Environmental Advice Hub – I have applied for some funding from PKCs Community Investment fund (CIF) for a feasibility study to ascertain whether the local communities would be interested in having a Hub in the Town Hall to help with issues, questions, products, services like workshops and talks/presentations, and focus on what kind of info, services they would like it to provide them with. I was thinking as Ryan Graham from PKC said that our CC can start to offer different types of workshops and hold meetings in the Townhall as a way of establishing the group in Pitlochry and area.
So, once I find out if the application has been successful then we can think about what kind of events we can create/provide to gather in this information. Maybe Plastic Free Businesses Event, another Festival event, workshops like Bike Maintenance, Upcycling products, Repair cafes, start a Men’s shed, talks and presentations by visitors?
Other matters to discuss - Neighbourfood network – Kaja is part of the one in Blairgowrie. Would this be worthwhile setting up in our local area? Get some farmers involved? Crafts people, go a bit further out to D& D Dairies in Crieff?
Zero waste Easter Festival to discuss. The Town Hall Community Group have the market trader’s licence so we can plan our next event for Saturday 18th April? As the suggested theme for our next event is Easter then it would be good to start to organise it. Would anyone be interested in helping with ideas etc?
Funding for Projects -
Funding – I also attended The Gannochy Trust/ National Lottery Community Fund workshop on the 15th January where they offer support and funding to many different types of organisations from £3000 to £500,000. Worth remembering for future funds for the group.
Alison Robb is looking at Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund - to Fund a project regarding How to enjoy Pitlochry without a car. And encouraging hotels and tourist businesses to have a link to this page on our website which is currently under development.
Website – Kate is continuing to create our website. Kaja has written an introduction for waste, Martin is going to write an introduction for energy, Karen has written an intro for Food. And Alison has written and intro for Transport.
If anyone finds any relevant information, websites, have any ideas or thoughts which they would like to share or feel would be useful to include on the website regarding any of these topics or other issues please can you send this information to me or Kate.
#BigClimateConversation, Jess Pepper has finally finished the report from the Big Climate Conversation in Birnam Arts so I will forward a copy to you once I am sent the final copy.
Jane King – Has some raised beds in her garden needing used and was wondering if anyone would be interested in using them to grow veg etc?
The next Climate Café meeting will be Friday 21st Feb not the 14th as it is the school mid term so the children will be off.