Certas Energy has donated £1,677 from the sale of plastic bags at its 21 company owned filling stations across mainland Scotland (during October 2014 to April 2015), to the Stroke Association in Scotland.

In October 2014, the Scottish Government took a stand against litter with the introduction of a 5p charge for all single use carrier bags. The initiative is an attempt to reduce the amount of litter produced in the country and make small incremental environmental improvements by lowering the number of carrier bags used by shoppers annually.

Since the introduction of the bag levy, Certas Energy, which operates the Gulf Oil licence in the UK, has charged 5p for every new single-use carrier bag purchased in their service station stores.

Scott Harris, business manager, Certas Energy, commented: “We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the number of bags customers are requesting as they are reusing bags to avoid the charge. We took the decision from the outset to donate any money generated to a charity and approached our employees to select one to receive the funds. We’ve deliberately chosen a charity that supports individuals in Scotland who have suffered from this debilitating affliction.

“Certas Energy’s approach is novel in that we openly notify customers where the funds will be donated, and we give our staff the option of nominating a charity which is often one that’s close to their heart. We will change the charity selected on an [annual / six-monthly] basis, in-line with the financial year. The next charity to receive these funds will also be chosen by Certas Energy employees, most probably keeping the Scottish theme.”

Kirsty Scott, the Stroke Association Community and Events Fundraising Manager in Scotland said, “In Scotland 1 in 6 of us will have a stroke. Around a quarter of strokes in Scotland happen to people of working age or children and over half of people affected by stroke are left with a disability. We are delighted with this generous donation from Certas Energy and would like to thank all Certas employees who decided to support a cause and a charity that relies on help like this. All the funds we receive will be used to help people affected by stroke in Scotland.”

All retailers in Scotland, regardless of type or size, are required to apply the carrier bag charge. The Government openly encourages businesses to contribute the net proceeds from the bag charge to charitable good causes from sales to charity, but there is no obligation for retailers to do so. The introduction of the bag charge follows the successful implementation of similar legislation in Wales and Northern Ireland.