West Lothian College is plastic free

West Lothian College announced at its first Sustainability Summit that it will be going plastic free from now on.

The college will be removing all single-use plastics from vending machines and the canteen, as well as ditching plastic cups at water fountains and encouraging staff and students to use refillable water bottles.

The summit was a whole day event when the entire college concentrated on how to tackle the global climate emergency.

Jackie Galbraith, principal of West Lothian College explained: “Last year the West Lothian Community Planning Partnership asked partners to raise their game in tackling global climate change. We decided to involve all our staff and students in determining what we should do as a college and that’s how the Sustainability Summit came about. Going plastic free is the first significant outcome from the summit and more will follow.”

The summit was a roaring success with a mini-conference featuring TedX eco speakers Laura Young (also known as Less Waste Laura) and Cameron McKay, a free vegan lunch, a market place for sustainable businesses to showcase their products, and activities in the afternoon to help staff and students to identify ways to make the college more sustainable.

Afternoon sessions ranged from litter picking to tree planting, making DIY bath bombs with Lush and discussions about how to reduce photocopying, to cooking with leftovers and health walks.

Speaking at the summit, Laura Young said: “I think it’s amazing that today West Lothian College announced it was going plastic free. It’s great to see them taking that leap! Having an entire day when all students and staff focused on sustainability was fantastic.”

College manager, Beth Brownlee, the chief organiser of the event said: “At West Lothian College we’re embracing global efforts to promote sustainability and we wanted this event to highlight the importance of our individual and collective actions and how we can address climate change.”

Paula White, estates manager at the college, added: “Removing single-use plastics from the college was a big decision, but I’m so glad we’ve made that decision. We will keep the momentum from the summit going and tap into the positive attitudes shown on the day.”