Chesterfield single-use plastics campaign group, Plastic Free Chesterfield, is calling on local residents to join in with a series of six actions this autumn, as part of a nationwide plastic protest organised by the charity Surfers Against Sewage.
The group says the six grassroots actions, which run from 5th September to 18th October, are designed to challenge the manufacturers of unnecessary, single-use plastics, change public perception and demand stronger legislation from the government.
Greg Hewitt, Community Lead of Plastic Free Chesterfield told us:
"We want to create a national wave of noise that cannot be ignored; calling on the UK Government to raise the plastic agenda at the highest levels of power, grounding it in parliamentary consciousness and demanding stronger legislation on reduction, production and systems."
Actions range from carrying out a litter pick around Chesterfield, to using social media to hold plastic packaging manufacturers to account, as well as writing to supermarkets to do more to reduce their plastic. Chesterfield schools are also asked to get involved through the Plastic Free Schools programme.
The aim of the Plastic Protest is to gather evidence to call big plastic packaging brands to account and demand the Government to take the plastic pollution crisis seriously.
"The plastic industry around the world is using the current pandemic to delay critical policy that would see the reduction of plastic pollution. We are already seeing the impacts of this in the UK with delays to bans on straws, stirrers and cotton bud sticks. We need the Government not to use one crisis to ignore another."
"We need manufacturers to be responsible for 100% of the costs of dealing with their plastic packaging. And we need a Deposit Return Scheme to be introduced before 2023 that can accept a wide range of materials, including ALL plastic bottles."
The six actions have been designed to be simple and effective, so as everyone can at least do something to be part of the campaign.
The six actions Plastic Free Chesterfield are asking for people to get involved with are:
Summit to Sea Community Clean Ups
Litter picks around Chesterfield’s streets, green spaces and waterways
Monitoring and recording the branded packaging pollution items people find in during the Community Clean Ups
Return to Offender
Challenging the industry and supermarkets to reduce reliance on single-use plastic packaging . See it, Snap it, Share it
From half cucumbers in bags to coconuts wrapped in clingfilm, the survey will demand supermarkets take action on your plastic pet hate
112,000 pieces of plastic packaging leave UK supermarkets every minute. That is simply not good enough. We will give you the tools to write to your MPs , Supermarket HQs and local stores to demand reductions
Plastic Free Schools
Education is key to ending the cycle. With schools reopening, it’s time to bring the environment back into the classroom through the Plastic Free Schools programme
More information about the protest plus the six actions can be found on the Plastic Free Chesterfield website: https://plasticfreechesterfield.org.uk/take-action/generation-sea-plastic-protest
Published by The Radio Rewind Newsroom; 02/09/2020