Two Scots are among the first group of environmental ambassadors chosen by the UK Government ahead of the Cop26 global climate change summit.
A total of 13 One Step Green ambassadors have been appointed, with the list including an environmental entrepreneur and the founder of an artists’ collective.
Toby McCartney, chief executive of Lockerbie-based MacRebur, has made it his mission to help tackle the plastic epidemic, by taking waste plastics that would otherwise be destined for landfill or incineration and adding them into asphalt for road construction.
Sara Thomson, meanwhile, founded The Leith Collective, providing a platform for 130 artists brought together by their common aim to repurpose items that would have gone to waste.
The group, set up in 2019, also opened the UK’s first shop without any single-use plastics, with Ms Thomson going on to set up the Clydeside Collective in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre in July this year.
The One Step Greener initiative plans to recruit another 13 ambassadors ahead of Cop26 – with officials saying these 26 individuals will be “everyday climate leaders”.
Speaking about the scheme, Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “Scotland is leading the way when it comes to green energy and is a net exporter of renewables.
“Therefore, it is entirely appropriate that the UK is hosting Cop26 in Glasgow and that Scotland is represented in the first 13 One Step Greener ambassadors announced today.
“Toby McCartney, of Lockerbie-based MacRebur, and Sara Thomson, founder of The Leith Collective, Edinburgh, have shown ingenuity and determination to reduce plastic waste and are an inspiration to us all.
“I know there are many more people across the country going above and beyond for the climate, and I hope to see more Scots chosen as One Step Greener ambassadors when the final 13 are announced later this year.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK has made huge strides towards a greener future, with new records in renewable energy and new targets for slashing emissions.
“But there are also thousands of people across the country doing their bit too, from embarking on green careers and building sustainable businesses to reducing their use of plastic and taking part in conservation projects.
“We can all do our bit to help tackle climate change. That’s why we’re challenging everyone to go one step greener in the next 100 days and win the chance to become an ambassador ahead of Cop26 in Glasgow this November.”