Find out changes to our services and advice in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

PKC donates unearthed school crisp bag cache to recycling in aid of Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance

Hundreds of empty crisp bags discovered during renovation work at Perth High School are to be recycled to help raise funds for Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA).

The bags were unearthed beneath enclosed seating at the school where they had been discarded but inaccessible for years until the seating was removed.

Now, instead of sending the packets to landfill, Perth & Kinross Council has teamed up with recycling supporters of the life-saving charity to turn the trash into cash.

Companies and individuals across Scotland are signing up to the "crispsforhelimed79" campaign - set up by supporters in Aberdeen - which is registered with recycling organisation Terracycle. This will support plans to launch a second charity-funded helicopter air ambulance out of Aberdeen to operate alongside Helimed 76 based at Perth Airport.

As the crisp bag campaign gathers momentum across Scotland, several local collecting points have been established through supporting businesses to receive the empty crisp packets on behalf of crispsforhelimed79.

They are at:

  • WH Smith in Pitlochry 
  • Infinityblu Dental Clinics in Pitlochry, Dunkeld, Crieff and Auchterarder
  • Garth Newsagents, 33 Garth Avenue, Perth PH1 2LG 
  • Perth High School
  • Nationwide Building Society, Blairgowrie
  • Goodlyburn Primary
  • Abernethy Primary
  • Morris Leslie, Perth
  • Muthill Primary School
  • Madderty Primary School
  • Meggernie Scout Centre, Glenlyon
  • Mains of Taymouth Country Estate and Golf Club
  • Balbeggie Primary School
  • Glenalmond College
  • Standard Aero, Almondbank
  • Auchterarder Girl Guides
  • Kinnoull Primary School
  • Perth Royal Infirmary
  • Kenmore Primary School
  • Perth & Kinross Council (for staff only)

And Perth car dealership Arnold Clark at Inveralmond has agreed to transport the collections from these points to Aberdeen free of charge where they are bulked and sent to Terracycle in exchange for cash.

Perth & Kinross Council 's Environment & Infrastructure Committee Convener Councillor Angus Forbes encouraged everyone to take part and support SCAA as well as protecting the environment. Councillor Forbes commented:

"Householders are increasingly looking for ways to help the planet and Terracycle has found a way of recycling unwanted crisp packets into something new and useful.

"The crisp packets that are collected are separated by plastic type, cleaned and made into plastic pellets which can then be created into a new item such as a garden bench or some fence posts.

"If you'd like to take part in this at home or at work, put a bag or box aside in your kitchen and drop in every empty crisp packet that you've used - Terracycle suggests gathering 19 crisp packets in a pile, folding then in half and inserting them into another packet so that a small 'brick' of 20 packets can be stored easily.

"Then when the bag or box is full, take it to one of the SCAA collection points."

Any kind, brand or size of empty crisp packet (including the multi-package outers) is accepted - except 'Cheddars', popcorn bags, meat snack bags, pretzel bags and crisp tubes.

Nick Harvey, SCAA's Director of Fundraising and Communications, praised Perth & Kinross Council for diverting the crisp bag cache uncovered at Perth High School for charity recycling, saying their collection would ultimately help save lives.

Mr Harvey said: "We're really heartened and grateful to companies, groups and organisations everywhere for supporting our plans to launch a second life-saving helicopter and working through 'crispsforhelimed79' to help fund what will be a tremendous pre-hospital care resource for those in most need across the whole of Scotland.

"SCAA is the people's helicopter and having the support of so many in the Perthshire area is fantastic. This type of community support helps save lives and we can't thank people enough for agreeing to act as a collection point, transporting the bags or indeed donating the empty packets for the campaign."

To find out more about the range of Terracycle Collections available to take part in, please visit and to find out more about SCAA, please visit