Co-op have it in the bag for community causes

Co-operative have £750k to give away
Co-operative have £75k to give away

MORAY COMMUNITY GROUPS could be amongst 1000 organisations in Scotland that will net grants of between £200 and £2500 from carrier bag charges.

The Co-operative store network in Scotland say that they will share over £75,000 from the fund they set up from carrier bag charges imposed last year by the Scottish Government.

A mandatory charge for bags was imposed last year and saw shoppers having to pay 5p for each bag – with the Co-op saying they are using that cash for their ‘Local Fund’. Along with hundreds of retailers the store chain has registered for Zero Waste Scotland’s carrier bag commitment under which they agree to donate net proceeds to good causes.

Now they are urging local organisations to apply for funding via their website before October 7 – and their one million members will then be given a chance to vote on which they would like to see supported.

The retailer has also said that they will top up the fund with proceeds from its entire range of carrier bags – including bags-for-life and new woven reusable shopping bags.

John McNeill, divisional managing director for The Co-operative Food in Scotland, said: “We are asking the Scottish public to nominate those causes that they care about and would like to see supported through The Co-op Local Fund.

“The Co-op shares the aspiration of reducing the number of single-use carrier bags in use.

“It is also encouraging shoppers to further reduce their reliance on single-use carriers by donating proceeds from its reusable bags to good causes too.

“The money raised will enable organisations across Scotland to make a difference in their community – together, we will reduce, reuse, recycle, and reinvest in our communities.”

Stores in Scotland have reported an 80% reduction in single-use carrier bags in circulation since the minimum charge came into effect. Moray MSP and Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “It is fantastic to see the carrier bag charge raising so much money for good causes, as well as achieving such drastic reductions in the number of single-use carrier bags being handed out in Scottish stores.

“I would like to commend the Co-operative for their support and to encourage as many projects and local good causes as possible to apply in order for their communities to benefit from a share of the funds.”

Groups can apply for funding online.