Isles of Scilly - AONB

Brownie Points All Round

The AONB unit and the islands Brownie troop collaborate on Isles of Scilly eco project.

The AONB unit and the islands Brownie troop have been working together on a project that collaborates with the islands church charity shop, the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, Tesco and Oxfam.

The project has a very simple aim, to reuse Tesco delivery trays and ship unwanted clothing and goods to the mainland for distribution through Oxfam charity shops.

Tesco ships a considerable amount of groceries to the residents of the isles in green plastic trays, many of which are never returned. The trays come at a cost to Tesco and although the company encourages all customers to return them very few actually make it back to the store.

In tandem with this problem, the islands church charity shop is inundated with a whole range of items that have been donated by residents and haven’t been sold. Rather than letting the items go to waste it was felt that there could be a way of making use of the unwanted goods

Through a partnership initiative a project was devised, which not only provides a method of transporting the trays back to the mainland, but also means that the trays go back with a purpose.

An agreement between Tesco, Oxfam and the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company has produced a perfect solution to the problem. Now any unsold items can be resorted by the islands Brownie troop, packaged in the Tesco trays and transported back to the mainland on Scillonian III to be redistributed by Oxfam. After Oxfam have emptied the trays they will be returned to the Tesco store and the cycle starts again.

Tesco will be awarding ‘brownie points’ to the Brownies and environmental groups in the form of a goodwill dividend as a measure of thanks and in support of this positive, environmental community project.

Clare Lewis from the AONB and Fiona Robson, the Brown Owl from the Isles of Scilly Brownie Troop came up with the idea for the project, Clare said: “We saw this opportunity as a way of getting lots of organisations working together towards a more sustainable future with healthy partnerships and positive action within the locality.”

“As well as this, the brownies continue their awareness programme, learning about the value of resources and the beautiful environment that we live in. This initiative addresses two issues at one time; working towards minimizing waste that our already pressured infrastructure has to deal with and it extends the possible lifespan of unwanted, but good quality charity goods to the wider demographic of the mainland community.”

Fiona Robson added: “The brownies will be integral to the project by helping with the sorting and packaging of quality re-usable goods that would otherwise go to waste, it’s great for them to get hands on and really see the benefit of what they are doing in their community.”

All Tesco customers across the islands are called on to leave their green Tesco trays outside the old Katie bus shed, Porthcressa, where they will be packed with excess charity goods for Oxfam in support of this worthy community initiative that benefits all.

Jeff Marston, Chief Executive of Isles of Scilly Steamship Company concluded: “This is a wonderful initiative and we are delighted to be able to be a part of it by transporting the trays back to Penzance on Scillonian III free of charge. I hope there will be other partner initiatives that we can work on together to make a real difference.”

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