Prestwich Environmental Forum urges swaps to reduce plastic

A community group behind a bid to make Prestwich plastic-free says even small swaps can make a big difference, ahead of Plastic Free July 2022.

The Prestwich Environmental Forum is leading a project to gain Plastic Free accreditation for the town, part of a scheme run by the marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage.

The project is supported by the council’s Climate Action Fund and aims to unite communities in the fight against plastic pollution.

However, forum member Anna Stringer says some groups may be deterred from committing by pressure to ditch plastic altogether.

However, she says even small exchanges can make a difference.

She said: ‘A lot of people we talk to are automatically worried and say ‘but we use plastic pens’, or we can’t get rid of using plastic folders’, or something like that and they really focus on what they can’t do.

“While most of the time they are already doing very good things that should be recognized and shared.

“For example, if they’re hosting events, replacing reusable water bottles instead of plastic, just focus on one small thing they can do.

“A lot of people look beyond that and get blown away by how much they have to do rather than focusing on the things they can.”

Anna says some people can often be put off by the lack of inexpensive plastic-free exchanges, but says going plastic-free doesn’t have to break the bank.

She added: ‘I think the problem with community groups is that they often operate on a very small budget and they are often very sustainable or ethically conscious so they say to themselves ‘I don’t can’t claim to be plastic free. because we always use that one piece of plastic in what we do.”

However, materials such as beeswax wrap have recently gained popularity as an exchange for plastic wrap, but a single meter can cost upwards of £20 making it unsuitable for large groups. small budget.

Instead, companies that have already made the pledge recommend cellulose-based cellophane, which can biodegrade.

“It doesn’t always have to be a very expensive exchange for bamboo cutlery or something like that,” Anna added.

“The title of the program being plastic-free might make you think you need to banish it altogether, but if everyone is doing an exchange, schools, businesses, groups, at home, it all makes a difference.”

Plastic Free July is a global movement that seeks to reduce reliance on single-use plastics and asks people to take a plastic-free challenge this month.

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