Working together to end plastic pollution

Plastic Free Swindon is an organisation dedicated to help end plastic pollution. We are part of Friends of the Earth and the global Break Free From Plastic movement. We are working to develop a system of zero waste; good for the environment, people, animals, and local economies.

We provide a newsletter to keep up with our work.

Organisations

Keep Swindon Tidy

Keep Swindon Tidy poster from our gallery

The vibrant Keep Swindon Tidy campaign is taking positive action on plastic and other pollution, aka litter. Litter picks, poster-making, signs, community gardening, blogs... Read more.

Refill Swindon

Submerged plastic bottle in the ocean with the caption, 'More than 150 million tonnes of plastics have accumulated in the world's oceans'.

It is estimated that the Refill scheme has saved around 100 million pieces pieces of plastic from being created / polluting the environment. This is a simple, empowering scheme for people, businesses and other organisations to reduce plastic creation / pollution. Read more and join the Refill revolution.

Growing South Swindon Community

This new organisation's core aims are to build community and transform spaces. It can help us deal with plastic pollution in various ways. Read more.

Education

Beware plastic recycling

A mountain of plastic bottles.  Recyclers climb makeshift stairs with large sacks full of bottles.
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Think you're doing your bit by recycling plastic? Think again. For at least the last 50 years, Big Plastic and their advocates have told us that plastic recycling will solve our plastic pollution problems. It hasn’t. Big Plastic and Big Soda kept the plastic pollution crisis a secret for decades. These companies have lobbied governments to prevent effective measures to reduce plastic pollution whilst publicly pledging to reduce waste. As public awareness has turned to plastic pollution, we are told again that plastic recycling is the way forward. It's not. As our Life of a Plastic Bottle resource shows, we need to reduce plastic production. Read the full article.

Equality and the Environment

'Twenty of the richest billionaires are estimated, on average, to be emitting as much as 8000 times more carbon than the billion poorest people'
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The UK is among the most unequal countries in the world. A 2009 book based on scientific research called The Spirit Level showed that economic inequality contributes to societal factors such as high crime rates, poor mental health, and violence. It is now understood to contribute to other maladies such as climate change and plastic pollution. Read more.

Plastic, oppression, and the global food system

Two forearms are chained together.  The arms consist of words including 'poverty', 'racism', 'neglect', 'classism', 'violence', 'prejudice'.
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The global food system is at the heart of environmental and social crises, including plastic pollution. Understanding this oppressive and destructive system provides a simple yet immensely powerful solution. Read more.

The Life of a plastic bottle

A symbol indicating no plastic bottles allowed
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Pollution from plastic doesn't only occur at the end of its life when it is put in landfill, dumped or burnt. Plastic is polluting throughout its 'life', using energy and resources. This is all so unnecessary. Learn why the focus must be on reducing plastic production rather than recycling and the amazing difference we can make supporting Refill / reuse.

COVID-19 information

A littered single-use face mask in an area of grass by a road

Care for our environment is core to our collective good health. Plastic pollutes causing disease and suffering. We have been using 129 billion masks per month and 65 billion gloves per month globally in attempts to mitigate the spread of disease. This has contributed to over 8 million tonnes of Covid-19-associated plastic waste! We are furthering disease to prevent disease. That does not make sense. Read more.

Government section

Chart showing waste generation per capita 2016.  The USA top the chart, followed by the UK
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The UK is the 2nd biggest producer of plastic per person in the world. As this Greenpeace video highlights, the UK goverment are not the world leaders in dealing with plastic waste that they claim to be. Much of our plastic waste is still being sent abroad or incinerated. Our government section provides information explained clearly by topic, correspondence with local MPs and simple actions. It includes:

  • The Environment Act 2021 does not provide the comprehensive structured timetable of plastic reduction that is needed to effectively deal with plastic pollution.
  • Trade deals incorporating corporate courts may threaten our ability to reduce plastic production / pollution. Local MPs have provided no guarantees that this won't be the case.
  • Waste incineration / waste-to-energy is not a good way to deal with waste, polluting the environment and us, yet the government and councils including Swindon's continue to tie us into contracts for years to come.
  • The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act has been described by Liberty human rights organisation and Friends of the Earth as draconian legislation that may hinder our ability to peacefully protest and challenge the government.
  • Deposit Return Scheme: Concerns are that proposals would not be comprehensive, of the length of time proposed to implement the scheme, and of the continued use of plastic bottles.
  • Plastic packaging tax: For producers of plastic packaging consisting of less than 30% recycled plastic. This would still permit high levels of plastic packaging to be produced, which would enable plastic pollution to continue at a high rate. Hence this tax would seem to be inadequate.
  • Zero waste: A zero waste system incorporating natural materials is the ideal that we're aiming for.

Other

Lush bottle tops project

A large pile of HDPE bottle tops of varied sizes and colours
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Lush are collecting HDPE bottle tops for a fun project in the summer of 2022. Collect and take them to their town centre store. See full details.