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Upcycle old fabric to fight litter blight

Reusable face covering workshop from Zero Waste Scotland 

2 Dec 20

Scots are being urged to ‘choose to reuse’ to protect our beautiful landscape from littered face coverings.  

In the next phase of its campaign Face It – Reuse Beats Single-use, which aims to persuade Scots to choose reusable face coverings over disposable ones, Zero Waste Scotland is laying on a virtual workshop to show the nation how to make their own. 

The environment body has teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Marine Conservation Society to persuade Scots to choose reusable face coverings to protect our environment and is calling on those keen to be more conscious in their choice of protective wear to sign up for this free event. 

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) the virtual workshop will take place on Friday 11 December. It will see upcycling expert Rose Hall of Edinburgh-based charity EcoArt lead participants through a series of simple steps to create a bespoke face covering from old or unwanted fabric most of us will have at home – from an old shirt or pillowcase to a pair of pyjamas. 

Hosted by Zero Waste Scotland’s consumer waste prevention project manager, Miriam Adcock, the tutorial will also feature opportunities for questions and chat on how to be more sustainable at home – including some ideas for less-waste Christmas gifts. 

Miriam said:  

“Sadly, littered single-use face coverings are among the items increasingly being seen discarded on Scotland’s beaches, in parks and in urban areas. In fact, recent data from the Marine Conservation Society showed Covid-related litter like face coverings and gloves turned up on nearly a quarter of Scotland’s beaches¹. 

“What’s more, used disposable coverings have been found contaminating council recycling collections – costing money to deal with that could be better spent on other priorities and potentially resulting in recyclable material ending up in landfill. 

“There’s a simple solution to all of this. Choosing a reusable face covering is better for both purse and planet, with fabric face covering users estimated to save around £180 a year compared to those using disposable options for daily use. They’re also really easy and fun to make – and I would encourage anyone interested to sign up to our workshop and have a go.” 

Among those getting behind reusable face coverings are children from Langlees Primary School in Falkirk. Pupils in primary six have designed reusable coverings made from the school’s purple tartan to be sold in aid of local charity Langlees Food Provision. 

Victoria Smith, primary six class teacher at Langlees, said:  

“The children are so passionate about this campaign and they have been involved in all aspects of planning from ordering the material, calculating costs, designing the poster to writing the script for the advert.   

“As a school we are working towards gaining our Gold Rights Respecting School Award after receiving our Silver award earlier this year. By choosing a food provision charity we are including the global goal of poverty as well as climate change.  

“I am so proud of all the children’s hard work and their commitment to this cause.”  

Zero Waste Scotland’s reusable face covering workshop with EcoArt will take place online on Friday 11 December from 2 to 2.30pm. To find out more or to sign up for the event, visit https://zws.scot/facecoveringworkshop

Zero Waste Scotland leads on the delivery of the Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £27million in Scotland in circular economy projects until December 2020 thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 


Notes For Editors

¹ The results of the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean (18-25 September, 2020) show Covid-related litter, such as face coverings or gloves, was found on almost a quarter (23.5%) of Scotland’s beaches (source: Marine Conservation Society Scotland, November 2020). 

Photo caption:

Pictured back row from left: Sophie Magee and Jenna Hastie

Front row from left: Kyle McLeod and Aimee Boswell

All are Primary 6 pupils at Langlees Primary School in Falkirk.

About Zero Waste Scotland 

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change.   

Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy.   

We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund. 

More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn 

The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit our website or follow @scotgovESIF. 

About EcoArt 

EcoArt is a grassroots charity bringing together art and sustainability through innovative classes and collaborations with artists, individuals and organisations.  

It’s into zero waste, reuse, repair, upcycling and DIY, embracing the transformational power of art for social and environmental justice. 

Its ethos is consumption reduction, community resilience, action on climate change and sustainable development. 

Visit www.facebook.com/EcoArtCharity  

For media enquiries contact:  

Sophie Thirkell, Press Officer, Zero Waste Scotland  

Mobile: 07966 284095  

Email: sophie.thirkell@zerowastescotland.org.uk   

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