Local News for Tuesday 14th May 2019

DEPOSIT RETURN SCHEME MAY COME TO THE ISLANDS

Western Isles SNP MSP Alasdair Allan recently questioned the Scottish Government on how proposals for a Deposit Return Scheme will apply to island communities like the Western Isles.
Deposit return schemes, are a way of reducing litter and increasing recycling, where consumers pay a small deposit that is fully refundable once the empty bottle is returned.
The islands MSP was questioning Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP during a Ministerial statement in the Scottish Parliament outlining how Scotland’s new Deposit Return Scheme will work. It will include aluminium and steel cans as well as drinks containers made of glass and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic with a 20p deposit as part of plans to combat climate change.
Commenting, Alasdair Allan MSP said:
‘Deposit return schemes will have an important role to play in curbing litter.
‘It is important the scheme into account people in island communities who may have to travel long distances to the nearest shop. It was therefore welcome to hear the Cabinet Secretary’s confirmation that there will be scope within the scheme for communal return points to be set up, at community centres or schools for example, to make it easier for people to return items.
‘Keeping our local environment litter-free is especially important in the islands, given the natural beauty of our landscape.’

 

COMHAIRLE CALLS FOR EXTENTION OF REMOVAL OF AIR PASSENGER DUTY

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has called for the extension of the removal of Air Passenger Duty (APD) from flights to the islands. There is currently an exemption for flights from the islands to the mainland.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, said:
“With the Scottish Government deciding against the removal of APD in favour of a more environmentally friendly air services policy, I would urge the Government to consider extending the APD for flights to the islands. It has been shown that it is more environmentally friendly for passengers to use air services to the islands. Based on a car with two passengers from Glasgow to Ullapool and then ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway the emissions are above those for a passenger at average load factor on a direct flight from Glasgow to Stornoway.
“This would provide an economic boost for business in the islands, particularly in the tourism sector and would also ease the pressure on already overburdened ferry services.
“We would urge the Government to act to remove APD from flights to the islands – just as those outgoing are already exempt.”