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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Brownie gets supermarket to ban straws

This news post is over 2 years old

A nine-year-old girl has managed to get her local Asda to stop using plastic straws

An enthusiastic young Brownie has been creating change in her local area.

Lily, nine, from the 1st Tweedbank Brownies wrote to Asda Galashiels to express her disappointment at the store using plastic straws in their customer café.

In her well worded letter she raised her further frustration at the fact that not only were the straws on offer made of plastic, but they were also wrapped in plastic. She asked Asda to address her concerns and make a change to a more environmentally friendly option.

Asda Galashiels responded that they were very impressed with her letter and that they were sorry to hear her disappointment but understood why.

The general store manager advised that thanks to Lily’s hard work and well written letter, ASDA have stopped using plastic straws in their customer café and will be using paper straws instead. He praised Lily for her suggestion and because it was so simple, they decided to implement the change immediately.

As a thank you to Lily for her suggestions she was gifted a re-usable water bottle, the same ones Asda has provided its employees to avoid the use of single use cups in their canteens, a £10 gift card and, in true guiding style, one of the supermarket’s 'I do the right thing badges'.

Lily said: “I wrote to ASDA because I was disappointed they were using plastic straws that were also wrapped in more plastic! I felt it was important to write to ASDA because I want to save the future generation. When I got the letter back from ASDA I was happy. I thought it was a good response and I'm glad they done something about it.”

Girlguiding Scotland is supporting iWill week 2019 (18-24 November). This is a campaign to encourage more young people to take part in social action and to celebrate the impact they’re making in their communities and beyond. Girlguiding Scotland is proud of Lily standing up for the environment by using her voice to create meaningful change.

Lily’s actions follow Girlguiding’s recent #PlasticPromise campaign, the biggest ever girl-led campaign to tackle plastic pollution.

Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers and volunteers from across the UK joined together for a week of action from 30 September to 6 October to take part in a plastic-themed activity during their weekly Girlguiding meeting. They used their creativity to show why protecting the planet matters, taking plastic waste and turning it into sculptures of animals they want to protect from plastic pollution.

Girls and young women made a #PlasticPromise, committing to a simple but meaningful lifestyle change to help reduce single-use plastic. They are also asking their friends, family, politicians and the public to join them and make a #PlasticPromise. Anyone can make a #PlasticPromise by visiting There are five promises to choose from:

1. Start using a reusable water bottle

2. Start using an alternative to disposable cutlery

3. Start using a reusable box or reusable wrapping instead of clingfilm

4. Start using a reusable coffee cup

5. Stand up and speak out about cutting plastic waste and make big brands listen

The #PlasticPromise campaign and week of action builds on the launch of Girlguiding’s Future Girl manifesto. 76,000 girls and young women shaped Future Girl by sharing the issues that matter most to them. Taking action to protect the planet is one of their top five issues, with plastic pollution named as one of the biggest threats to their future.



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