THEY sail some of the most beautiful waters in the world, island hopping from idyllic ports and all that makes Scotland great.
A lifeline service for the communities who rely on them, work with them, wait for them, dodging in between fishing boat and creel.
But now CalMac, that iconic Scottish brand, is being urged to help ensure those same waters are kept clean.
The firm is being pressed to follow the lead set by NorthLink Ferries yesterday by pledging to ban plastic straws on all of its vessels.
NorthLink Ferries announced that as part of a series of Eco-friendly solutions, including stopping the provision of plastic straws along with the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
It comes after Highland MSP Kate Forbes , who is leading the Final Straw initiative, wrote to Scotland’s public bodies and local authorities last week urging them to sign up to the campaign.
Ms Forbes, who also sits on Holyrood’s Environment Committee, told Planet Scotland: “I am delighted that NorthLink ferries have chosen to go plastic straw free, and I hope CalMac will follow suit imminently.
“Of all transport organisations, the ferries see the impact of plastic litter on our seas and they should be leading the way to crack down on single use plastics.
“Only last week it was confirmed that rural and remote areas were being subjected to just as much plastic waste as urban areas despite clearly contributing less.
“This is a national problem and everybody must play their part.”
She added: “Full credit to NorthLink ferries and NorthlI trust that CalMac will choose to follow suit soon.
“I wrote to CalMac last week calling on them to ban plastic straws along with other publicly funded organisations.”
Northlink Ferries said it was also looking at drinks cups and single portion sauce sachets as part of its bid to go greener.
Among their changes announces are:
• Removing the one use cold drink cup from all areas on-board.
• Changing the plastic bags in the shop to paper.
• Changing the 2 oz plastic ramekins that are served with burgers etc. to paper ramekins.
• We also hope to change away from single portions of the main use sauces to a pump system, e.g. Tomato and Brown Sauce.
It also said it was looking for wholesalers to help find permanent solutions.
CalMac, who recently appointed its own wildlife officer and are involved in a range of CSR projects and sponsorships, tonight said they are looking at a range of options.
In response to a Tweet, they said:
Hi we are currently working behind the scenes to address single use plastics and to reduce marine litter.
— CalMac Ferries (@CalMacFerries) January 23, 2018
They later added: “We hope to be able to announce exciting news in the very near future about steps that we are taking to minimise single-use plastic on board.”
Watch this space.
IMAGE CREDITS: cc Kasman
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