Reducing single use plastics
What is the problem with plastic?
Plastic pollution is plastic where it shouldn’t be- whether at land or at sea. Plastics can take hundreds of years to break down and even then remain in the environment in microscopic pieces, never truly going away completely. Plastics cause all sorts of problems for wildlife as they can become entangled in litter or mistake it for food. Whilst plastics can be incredibly useful, the big problem is with single use plastics such as disposable cups, bottles, food containers/ wrapping, straws and bags.
What is happening in Wyre Forest district to address the issue?
Local volunteers have set up action groups to help their communities reduce their use of single use plastics and are aiming to achieve Plastic Free Community status. To find out more, share ideas or get involved visit the Transition Bewdley and Plastic Free Kidderminster Facebook pages.
At its full council meeting in July 2019, Wyre Forest District Council unanimously agreed to help address the issue of single use plastics. The council is now looking at what it can do to reduce the use of single-use plastics at its sites and at council events.
Each year the council runs two Greener Living Fairs in partnership with local voluntary groups. These events are a great opportunity to find out more about how you can reduce your own use of single use plastics as well as lots of other ideas to help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
What can I do to reduce my own use of single use plastics?
Plastics are used so widely in our every day lives that, at first, cutting down can seem quite overwhelming. Luckily there are lots of simple steps we can take to help tackle the plastic problem. Visit Worcestershire Lets Waste Less for tips and ideas, to take the #plasticpledge or to download an audit form to help you track and reduce your plastic use. Also check out the Zero Waste Worcestershire maps of shops with packaging free options and alternatives to single-use plastics.
How can schools and businesses help?
Schools can register to take part in the Plastic Free Schools programme, run by the Surfers Against Sewage. There are five objectives for the school to achieve in order to Plastic Free School status and the programme is designed to meet key curriculum targets.
The Surfers against Sewage also offer a free toolkit for businesses to help them rise to the challenge of removing avoidable, single use plastics.
Where can I refill?
It’s easy to find a place to fill up your reusable water bottle for free when you’re out and about, thanks to the Refill scheme . Download the Refill App to find out where you can get a free water refill, or look out for the Refill window sticker that participants display. So far 30+ Wyre Forest businesses and organisations are listed on the Refill App. Why not register your own business or encourage your local cafe or pub to take part?