Fife pilots projects to ditch disposable items

Two Kirkcaldy events are to take part in a £1 million pilot project testing alternatives to single-use disposable items this year.

Greener Kirkcaldy and Resource Efficient Solutions (RES), a Fife Council arms-length organisation, will partner with Fife Pride and Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon to reduce single-use items at their events this year.

The pilot project to reduce single-use items at two of Kirkcaldy’s largest events is one of 14 chosen by Zero Waste Scotland in a £1 million push to reduce single-use items across the country.

The funding will allow Fife Pride 2020 to operate a deposit-return scheme on cups at the event bar, which will divert up to 20,000 single-use plastic cups from landfill. Single-use plastic items will be substituted for reusable items and advice on reducing waste will be made available to stall holders attending the event and to local businesses.

Learning and resources from Pride will be passed on to Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon to trial at their event in August.

Robin Baird, Resource Efficient Solutions (RES – a Fife Council arms-length organisation), said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a delivery contractor for Ditching Disposables and look forward to working with Fife Pride and Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon to reduce single-use items going to landfill. We aim to reduce waste at Pride by 50% in 2020, but we hope that the impact of the project will be far greater as we show others what can be achieved.”

Fife Pride will be supported to pilot a range of alternatives to disposable event items – such as flags and whistles - while the event bar will be supported to ditch disposable cups. Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon will tackle single-use bottles of water issued to competitors and incorporate other reusable items into the event organisation. Event vendors will be encouraged to reduce the use of disposable items.

Lauren Parry from Greener Kirkcaldy said: “We hope that by partnering with Fife Pride and Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon we can get across the message that Ditching Disposables is the way to go! Getting rid of single-use items from your life is achievable for everyone and we can all play our part by making good decisions, whether an individual or planning a big event”.

Pat Greenhough, Fife Pride Convener, added: “We were very aware of how much plastic waste we amass through our event. Fife Pride are looking forward to being able to play its part in reducing single use items and hope that people attending our event on the 4th of July will also be fully supportive as we can all play a part in ditching the disposables. We have lots to learn and share and we are looking forward to working with Greener Kirkcaldy and Resource Efficient Solutions.

Jim Taylor, Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon, is looking forward to a reduced-waste event in 2020: “We are very happy to hear our Ditching Disposables project is one of the successful pilot projects being taken forward.  The Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon looks forward to working with them in our coming event.”

Fife Pride will take place on 4 July 2020 and Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon will be held on 30 August 2020.

Supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Ditching Disposables scheme will see organisations from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Caithness, Stirling, and East and West Lothian trial alternatives to single-use products.

Ditching Disposables is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).