People across Bath and North East Somerset are being urged to do their bit to help the district become plastic free, and pledge to make a difference.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is asking businesses, organisations, schools, clubs and community groups to pledge to take action and ditch single use plastics, replacing them with sustainable alternatives.
The aim is to achieve Plastic Free Community status by 2020.
Boston Tea Party is the first business locally to sign the pledge, which has been launched on the council website at www.bathnes.gov.uk/plasticfree.
The idea is that those who sign up to take part in Plastic Free BathNES share their experiences and knowledge to help each other in their effort to reduce their reliance on single use plastics.
Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods, said: “There is no quick fix to the problem of plastic pollution, but we can all take action to reduce our use of unnecessary single use plastics.
“We want local people and businesses within our community to make a commitment and join us in our challenge to increase the use of sustainable and reusable alternatives.
“The council has already signed up to the scheme, but it’s only by working together that we’ll be able to achieve Plastic Free Community status.”
Businesses who sign up to take part in Plastic Free BathNES are being asked to pledge to eliminate at least three single use items over the next year.
Community groups, clubs, towns or parish councils can do their bit by encouraging others within their community to get involved by reducing unnecessary single use plastic, recycling and by helping to remove harmful plastic and other litter from the environment through community litter picks.
Individuals can also make a difference by for example:
- Carrying a refillable water bottle;
- Carrying a reusable coffee cup and refusing single-use takeaway cups;
- Refusing straws;
- Carrying their own reusable shopping bag;
- Recycling single use plastic bottles and containers;
- Choosing products with less packaging or packaging made from recycled materials.
It is through collective action that Bath & North East Somerset will achieve Plastic Free Community status.
Plastic Free BathNES is building on the well laid foundations of projects by a number of local community groups.
Rachel Yates, Plastic Free Communities project officer at Surfers Against Sewage said: “We’re creating the Plastic Free Community network to free where we live from single-use.
“Together we’re tackling avoidable, throwaway plastic, from our beaches, rivers and green spaces all the way back to the brands and businesses who create it.
“It’s not about removing all plastic from our lives. It’s about kicking our addiction to avoidable single-use plastic, and changing the system that produces it.
“We live in a plastic world. It’s an extraordinarily useful, versatile, cheap material and it’s a growth industry, with one in every ten barrels of oil now used to create new plastic. But together, we can make sure we don’t choke our streets, parks and playgrounds with it.
“Because if it’s on our street today, then it’s in our rivers tomorrow, and our beaches and oceans forever. We can only do all of this together and we’re pleased the community in Bath and North East Somerset are joining the journey”
Vipul Patel, Refill Bath Coordinator, added: “We’ve already signed up more than 50 refill stations in Bath and the surrounding area and aim to have many more signing up this year.
“We’re really excited by the council’s new campaign to make it easier for us all to avoid wasteful, disposable single-use plastics.”
Erica Davies, Founder of Keynsham Wombles, said: “’The importance of minimising the use of single-use plastics – and, where possible, eliminating their use altogether – cannot be overstated amongst the environmental challenges we face.
“Bath & North East Somerset Council’s brilliant initiative committing to become a Plastic Free Community by 2020 is fantastic, and we are delighted to give it our full support.”
For more information and to sign the pledge visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/PlasticFree
Those who sign up will be provided with a Plastic Free Community toolkit to help them plan and make changes.