Tom preaching a plastic-free Melrose

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Melrose looks set to respond in a small, but significant, way to the calls of young people demanding action to halt further damage to the planet by becoming one of Scotland’s first plastic-free towns.

A packed audience at the recent Greener Borders talk on the plastic-free campaign enjoyed an inspirational presentation from speaker Tom Rawson, pictured, a local teacher at St Mary’s School, who described some of the work he’s doing with young people across the central Borders to address the plastic waste crisis in our local communities.

Tom’s approach is on encouraging an interest in and a love for the natural environment. Tree planting, riverbank clean-ups, hand-made poster campaigns, lobbying local businesses and eliminating single-use plastics from school and home are some of the youngsters’ recent awareness-raising actions.

“Plastic Free Melrose is a means for our community to take control of and responsibility for the plastic waste crisis,“ said Tom. “Once things like plastic bags, cups, straws, stirrers, water bottles etc are gone, we’ll not miss them in our lives. There’s a great opportunity for enterprising local businesses to attract environmentally-conscious customers by eliminating unnecessary and damaging single-use plastics at source.”

Tom hopes to see ‘Plastic Free Champion’ stickers awarded to businesses who rally round the cause being displayed throughout the town. Conversations are also taking place with organisers of big events like the Melrose Sevens and Borders Book Festival to find ways to reduce plastic waste.

A Greener Melrose, Greener Borders winter talks organiser, is supporting this campaign which has become a region-wide initiative.

The first in a series of Cafe Conversations was held yesterday (Wednesday) evening at Marmion’s in Melrose when Greener Melrose invited the public to drop in to share ideas on how to reduce the over-use and waste problems of plastic. More information is available via www.facebook.com/AGreenerMelrose or by emailing greenermelrose@live.co.uk