Just over 27, 000 Tesco customers have taken part in a vote to choose the beneficiaries of an estimated £1.8 million set to be raised from carrier bag charges in Wales and Scotland.
The successful charities are Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy. The Scottish levy is expected to be worth around £1 million and the Welsh levy around £800,000.
Both charities are planning to use the money to fund a variety of projects to keep local communities clean, tidy and green.
Greg Sage, Community Director for Tesco said:
“Our customers are the ones who will pay the charge, so we really wanted them to choose the charities that will benefit from it. The response was had was absolutely incredible – 27,000 people voted which is a fantastic turnout.
“Since 2011, the carrier bag levy in Wales has raised over £2.3 million for the local RSPB, which has been used for vital conservation work. Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy now have a fantastic opportunity to use the money raised from the bag charge to make a real difference to the communities they serve.”
In June Tesco gave the green light for charities and environmental organisations to submit proposals on how they would use the funds to help make a real difference for the environment and local communities.
120 organisations applied for the Scottish and Welsh partnerships, and they were whittled down to the five-strong shortlist. Tesco customers were then asked to vote online for which charities or environmental organisations they thought would make the best use of the money.
Derek Robertson CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) said:
“This is fantastic news for KSB and a tremendous opportunity for Scotland, a country whose people, organisations and institutions have really wrapped their arms around KSB and shown that they care about their environment by voting for Scotland’s own environmental charity. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us.
“We cannot wait to get started. Lots of local community groups and organisations that work in partnership with us, from all across Scotland, will benefit from this funding.”
Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:
“We’re delighted to have received the vote of confidence from our supporters and Tesco customers. Keep Wales Tidy campaigned hard for the introduction of the bag levy and we’re extremely pleased that it has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the use of single use carrier bags and that proceeds from the levy are being used to support environmental action.
“This partnership means so much to us- giving us the chance to help communities across Wales transform neglected spaces into places cared for, cherished and enjoyed by all.”
Both partnerships will run for an initial period of 12 months from 20 October 2014.
This week, nominations also opened for the 2014 Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards Scheme, worth £200,000. Through the scheme, one-off donations of between £500 and £2,500 are made by Tesco to registered charities and not for profit organisations for working on local projects that support health, opportunities for young people and environmental sustainability.
Charities and not for profit organisations will have four weeks to submit their applications, and the successful applicants will be announced shortly afterwards.