Kate Forbes MSP Nominated for National Conservation Award

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Friday September 14 2018

Pictured: Kate Forbes, with fellow nominees Lewis MacDonald MSP and Mairi Gougeon MSP.

Kate Forbes MSP has been nominated for a national conservation award following the success of her Final Straw campaign.

Final Straw urged the Scottish Government to ban plastic straws, and over the past nine months her lobbying has resulted in scores of organisations ditching them – estimated to run into the millions – in favour of biodegradable alternatives.

The finalists in the Political Advocate of the Year category for the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards were announced at an event in the Scottish Parliament this week.

Kate Forbes MSP said:

“I am delighted, if a little taken aback, by this nomination for an RSPB award.

“It means a lot to me after the campaign I launched earlier this year.

“Whilst there are many deserving winners, I’m really touched to be recognised on the shortlist.

“At the beginning of the year, I launched the Final Straw campaign to reduce the use of plastic straws.

“I hope that this would raise awareness of how much single-use plastics we get through every day in Scotland, and the impact it has on marine life.

“On the day I launched the campaign I was asked what I’d like to achieve and I said that I hoped to see more businesses stocking biodegradable alternatives to plastic straws.

“That’s precisely what has happened, with business after business pledging removing plastic straws from restaurants, bars and shops.

“Then, the Scottish Government committed to implementing a ban on plastic straws by the end of 2019.

“Most importantly, the Scottish Government also appointed a disability advisor to ensure that none of this had an adverse impact on disabled people.”

Kate’s fellow finalists are Dr Tom Dargie, Mairi Gougeon MSP, Lewis MacDonald MSP and Dr Ruth Tingay.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Thursday 22 November.

RSPB say the Political Advocate of the Year “recognises and celebrates the movers and shakers who go beyond the day-to-day to ensure our natural heritage is not only protected by enhanced for all and future generations”.

The category is open to councillors, MSPs, MPs, MEPs, campaigners from an environmental NGO, a dedicated public servant or “an extraordinary active individual who cares”.



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