Newsletter issue 2

8th October 2020

Refill Refreshed

A refill container being filled with food from a saucepan

October 1st saw the launch of Refill Refreshed. It is an expansion of the Refill app to include reusable options for food and drink, as well as other shopping. We will be supporting this in a number of ways, ensuring that local stations and the public are informed of this welcome expansion.

Concerns about a trade deals

We have written an important article on concerns about toxic trade deals. With corporate interests put before public interests, we are concerned that new trade deals will make it much harder to deal with plastic pollution. We continue to wait almost 3 months at the time of writing to discuss our concerns with Swindon’s MPs. Are they avoiding us? This despite their pledges to us leading up to the General Election 2019.

The ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds has come into force. It has been 3 years since Blue Planet II highlighted the problems of plastic pollution. 3 items banned in 3 years. At this rate, we should deal with plastic pollution by the year 100,000! This is clearly not good enough.

Litter, Keep Swindon Tidy, parishes, schools and colleges

Our first poster entry, a silhouette of a rat.  It reads, 'Bin it, think, or I move in'

Litter has been a prominent part of our campaign since its launch. We still regularly litter pick in north and south Swindon. We have been speaking with parishes to understand and deal with issues of litter and waste. Our work with Keep Swindon Tidy, including the poster making, is intended to help end the culture of littering and institute some love and care for our town. We have a few initial entries, the gallery is now online. This activity will be complimented by providing education for schools and colleges. We recommence that after the recent disruptions from COVID-19.

Old school activism

We continue to talk with the Swindon public, collecting signatures for City to Sea’s petition for reuse. This is a good way to learn as well as to communicate vital messages. The predominant message of our campaign is that a system of plastic recycling doesn’t work. We need to move back towards reuse and local economies. It has become clear that Big Plastic has known that recycling wasn’t tenable since the 1970s (1 | 2) yet they and supposed public representatives continue to peddle the recycling myth. See the recycling category in our library for further info.

The Birds and Bees radio show

Swindon 105.5 logo, includes a radio microphone.  Reads, 'Daring to be different'
Image credit

We were on the excellent Birds and Bees radio show on Swindon 105.5. For those who haven't listened to the show, it's a good way to keep up with local environnmental matters, hosted by Glynis Hales of Transition Swindon and The Bee Roadzz.

We spoke with Dr Moritz Kheunel of Swansea University about his research into using nanodot technology to break down plastic waste into hydrogen and other manageable compounds. Keith Williams, the Swindon Borough councillor for climate change, was also part of the discussion. It was an interesting conversation, well worth a listen here. Important to note that there was agreement with Dr Kheunel that, if such a technology is used, we would still need to reduce plastic production to stop the harm that is caused on each stage of its journey. We are working on a resource, 'The Lifecycle of Plastic', which will make this clear.

Ending support for Facebook

Facebook logo, reads 'You won't find us on Facebook'
Image credit

You may have noticed that we recently announced that we would no longer be supporting Facebook. This is due to concerns about how the platform is being used and who for. It isn't just Facebook who are abusing people's data. "Data is the new oil", according to former Alphabet (Google's parent company) CEO, Eric Schmidt. Important to understand the importance of supporting free open source software. See our article on it here.


Finally, a few improvements to the website. Thanks to all who have provided feedback. We hope that you find it an interesting and helpful resource. All updates to the website and campaign are found on the timeline. Please take the time to share. Community and resilience are built through good communication.

Thanks for reading. Be the change…