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.


Keep Swindon Tidy!

Keep Swindon Tidy poster

Image above from our online gallery.

We are working with local groups, communities, the borough and parish councils in our aspirations to keep Swindon clean and tidy.

Refill Swindon

Refill Refreshed

Refill is an international scheme to reduce single-use plastic packaging by encouraging reuse. Founded in Bristol in 2015, it initially focused on replacing single-use plastic water bottles with reusable bottles. Hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles have been saved from polluting the environment. The scheme has now spread to food, drink and shopping. Refill Swindon launched in October 2018 and works to grow the scheme locally. Read more and make the change.

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 full article.

COVID-19 information

Littered mask

Plastic harbours pathogens / causes disease. Hence prominent scientists around the world have urged governments to use reusable PPE. Globally we have been using 129 billion masks and 65 billion gloves per month since the start of the pandemic. How much disease has that caused? This vital info is addressed in the Summer of Refills campaign. and in the COVID-19 section of the library.

Government section

UK Parliament

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. Our plastic waste is still being sent abroad and 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.
  • 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?
  • Zero waste, includes the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). We are now to wait until 2024 for the rollout of a DRS in the UK. The public consultation was in 2019. Why is it to take so long?

Carbon reduction strategy consultation

SBC consultation

The contribution of plastic to greenhouse gas emissions / climate change was not mentioned in Swindon Borough Council's draft carbon reduction strategy. We responded to the public consultation to highlight this, and suggested courses of action.

We now have a non-active account which points to this website. This article explains why.