Aberdeenshire Councillor and waste campaigner, Paul Johnston has reacted positively to the report by Earthwatch’s researchers working with Plastic Oceans UK, an NGO commissioning research.

“The list contains materials where we largely have alternatives so its perfectly possible to get change via regulation and education as well as civic action.” said the Democratic Independent Councillor. “so the message is ‘YES WE CAN’ However, there are materials that require a major effort. No 3 on the list of pollutants is smoking litter along with its packaging. This needs a significant effort by legislators and/or enforcement work. We already have litter fines – but Councils would need the support of government if they were simply to try and tackle this by simple enforcement alone.”

On the report itself, Councillor Johnston said:

“The report highlighted many actions individuals can do and ones which can be done by local people or Councils. Its positive reading and i would urge examination of the report in detail by everyone who wants to see a sustainable future.”

“I do however, accept that there is a role for politicians, legislators and public servants in progressing all of this. This report is a great ‘heads up’ for everyone involved.”

The Plastic Rivers report, published today (8 April) in association with Plastic Oceans UK, has analysed data from nine studies of freshwater sources across the UK and Europe, revealing the top ten plastic pollutants in the UK’s rivers and lakes.

Here is the list and Cllr Johnston’s reactions in parenthesis.

The top 10 plastic pollutants in rivers and lakes:

  1. Plastic bottles and lids
  • These can be very largely dealt with by a DRS in Scotland (Deposit Return Scheme)

Food wrappers (crisp packets and sweet wrappers)

  • Extended PRS (Producer Responsibility Scheme)cwill create systems for collection such as Terracycle, as well as compostable alternatives.

Cigarette butts

  • This needs debated. Is enforcement of existing laws being done?

Sanitary items (nappies, sanitary towels, tampons and wet wipes)

  • The subject of a debate in the EU about separate collections?

Plastic or polystyrene takeaway containers

  • Full environment friendly alternatives exist.

Cotton bud sticks

  • Full environment friendly alternatives exist.

Plastic or polystyrene cups

  • Full environment friendly alternatives exist.

Smoking-related packaging

  • As per 3 above

Plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery

  • Full environment friendly alternatives exist.

Plastic bags

  • Full environment friendly alternatives exist.

To access the full report, click here.


Councillor Paul Johnston is leader of the Democratic Independent and green Group on Aberdeenshire Council and campaigners on zero waste and circular economy issues.



For new or aspiring social entrepreneurs, inspirational leadership is critical to their organisation’s initial success.

This one day introduction to leadership is an ideal starting point for individuals who are thinking of starting a social enterprise or who have recently started one.

Attendees will:

  • Learn what is meant by leadership and the key responsibilities of a leader
  • Strengthen their understanding of the key traits of a good leader
  • Reflect on their own strengths and areas of development
  • Engage with leadership and motivation theories
  • Explore the next steps in their leadership development

Date: Thursday 9th May 2019
Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Location: Fly Cup Catering, Inverurie, AB51 4FS

Through the support of the Scottish Government we are able to offer this leadership programme FREE OF CHARGE

If you have not already booked for this event, don’t delay as places are offered on a strict first come, first served basis. Secure your place here: Booking Form

For more information, contact Louise on 0141 404 0088 or leadership


This infographic explains what Community social enterprises do in Scotland when it comes to making the most of our resources, rather than waste them. If you are part of a community group that wants to do something about not wasting our resources, then why not get your group to join CRNS or become an individual supporter.


Aberdeen gambling on oil and gas – March 2019

This article appears in the ecologist. It includes my Colleague on Aberdeenshire Council, Martin Ford.

Its thoughtful and even if you not ‘Green’ or an ecologist, there is considerable truth in the argument. I have advocated investment in non fossil industry here in the North East. We are our own worst enemies as the investment has been focused on oil. We would be better in investment terms in land or water based prime industries or alternative energy and sustainable knowledge based industry.

There was a bright future. Its getting dimmer as time goes by and the Sir Ian Woods of this world drive direction in a false economy.

Aberdeen gambling on oil and gas

The article in this links interviews local councillor Martin Ford and places Aberdeen’s oil and Gas dilemma squarely in the centre.


Pass it on Week is almost here – don’t miss out

The Big Declutter is just over a week away Tc85QTorq9eNuzhPgETkDQTc85QTorq9eNuzhPgETkDQ

#The Big Declutter as part

of Pass it on Week 2019 is

just over a week away

It’s not too late to get involved and declutter your home/workplace/educational establishment/community space.

Ideas – Just look at our events page to see the wide range of events planned across Scotland that you can go along to (or copy their ideas), including;
– Donation drives of outdoor & general clothing, electrical items, candles & wax crayons, garden equipment and much more.
– Swap shops for clothes and even house plants
– Upcycling workshops.
– Film screenings.
– Sewing machine maintenance.
– Repair workshops and much much more.

Register your event now – Make sure you’ve registered your event so we know what you’re doing and people in your area can come along (there is also an option to mark it as private if it’s not open to the public).

Resources – We’ve added some more items to the list of resources so have a look if there’s something to help you. We have;
– An ideas guide for organisations
– A decluttering guide for householders
– Posters
– Email banners
– Social media images
– Newly added – A digital supporters badge
– Newly added – Digital images for school uniform swaps/donations.

Share our social media – We’ve got a very comprehensive plan for social media including videos, animations, blogs and general posts that are engaging, fun and quick and easy for you to share. Make sure you like our channels Zero Waste Scotland facebook and twitter (primarily for organisations) and Recycle for Scotland facebook (aimed at everyone).

Please do get involved and help spread the word. Decluttering is great for all of us and even better if we make sure items are being passed on to someone else who can make use of them. If you have trouble finding homes for things, why not try posting them on social media with the hashtag #TheBigDeclutter and see if there’s someone out there who could benefit from your unwanted items.

Pass it on Week 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).

After Banksy



🎅Christmas collection update 🎅

Collections due on Tuesday, December 25 will be collected a few days earlier on Saturday, December 22. There will be no changes for collections due on Wednesday, December 26.

Collections due on Tuesday, January 1 will be collected a few days earlier on Saturday, December 29. There will be no changes for collections due on Wednesday, January 2.

If for any reason crews are unable to collect bins on any of these days they will attempt to make a collection the following day.

Check your scheduled collection date on the council’s website: http://bit.ly/BinCollections

To see the materials you can recycle at home using our recycling services, visit: http://bit.ly/ShireRecyclables

The council’s network of recycling centres will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Wednesday, January 2. Sites normally open on Mondays will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

For more information, see: http://bit.ly/AbshireHWRCs