Working together to end plastic pollution
Be the change...
Plastic Free Swindon is a campaign to help end plastic pollution. We are part of Friends of the Earth and the global Break Free From Plastic movement. We are working towards a system of zero waste; good for local economies, the environment, people and animals. Our current system, of plastic recycling, waste incineration, and landfill, is unhealthy, polluting, destructive, and expensive compared to zero waste. See the 'about' section and the library for further info.
If you would like to keep up with the campaign, we provide a newsletter.
The Life of a plastic bottle
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.
Keep Swindon Tidy!
Image above from our online gallery.
Keep Swindon Tidy is a busy, well-supported campaign to restore pride in our town, to help keep it clean, looking nice, and safe for human and animal residents. It includes:
- Do your bit: info and appeal to all residents.
- A poster making collaboration and online gallery. Can you design a Keep Swindon Tidy poster? Chosen designs are to be used for signs to discourage littering.
- An ongoing series of blogs about our work, exploring issues.
- The first Keep Swindon Tidy Day: a positive start to 2021.
Beware plastic recycling
Image is copyright of Deutsche Welle TV. Used under fair usage terms.
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 is not. We can and must do much better. Read the full article.
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.
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 burnt. Our government section provides information explained clearly by topic, correspondence with local MPs and simple actions. It includes:
- Toxic 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 continue to advocate its use rather than legislate for plastic reduction.
- The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has been described by Liberty human rights organisation and Friends of the Earth as draconian legislation. One impact of this bill would be restriction on the right to peacefully protest. This could hinder our ability to challenge the government and deal with plastic pollution.
- 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.
- The Environment Bill and The Plastic Pollution Bill: Plastic reduction is the answer to plastic pollution. Why are the UK government choosing weaker, less effective legislation to reduce plastic production?
- 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.
Care for our environment is the root of good health. Plastic pollutes our envionment 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 a disease, Covid-19. So we are causing disease to prevent disease. Hence health experts wrote to governments and industry to urge the use of reusable PPE. Read more.